LIPOSUCTION

what does the science say

LIPOSUCTION

what does the science say

Unfortunately many newly-diagnosed Dercum’s patients get their hopes up, believing liposuction to be an easy cure-all for their pain. This is one area in which some research has been done and the results do not suggest it can be considered an easy solution to all of Dercum’s ills.

There is literally zero evidence that liposuction can completely remove the pain caused by Dercum’s Disease. In fact, there’s quite a bit of research that shows it might not even lessen your pain, at least not for very long. It’s also incredibly risky and potentially causes a considerable amount of damage to the lymphatic system, which can lead to potential complications down the road.

For additional information, we highly recommend you and your doctor read the following medical journal article available on PubMed: “Quality-of-life in patients with Dercum’s disease – before and after liposuction” by Dr. Brorson, Dr. Hansson, Dr. Manjer, and Dr. Svensson. These doctors performed a multi-year study of 114 women, evaluating and comparing the pain and quality of life of groups who underwent liposuction and those who did not.

Their results found that there was a relatively minor decrease in pain immediately following the liposuction procedure(s). However, the pain returned to its prior levels – or worse, in some cases exceeded it – within two to five years. Furthermore, patients reported higher levels of post-operative pain and many had worse than average surgical complications.

Given all of that, it appears that liposuction is a whole lot of risk for very little and very fleeting relief. There’s even some question if perhaps the pain relief might have been a surgical variant of the placebo effect – after the physical and emotional investment in surgery, a psychosomatic return in slightly lessened pain is a possibility. But much like all placebo effects, it’s short lived.

As such, most doctors no longer recommend liposuction for Dercum’s patients as a means of treating pain.

Don’t give up hope

Don’t give up hope

Liposuction may not be a quick, easy fix for every Dercum’s patient, but that doesn’t mean there’s no hope for treatment. There’s a great deal you and your doctor can do to improve your quality of life. Please encourage your doctor to search PubMed.gov for additional medical journal articles. In the meantime, you can visit our Lifestyle Advice section to learn some simple, easy, non-medical steps you can take in your daily life that seem to have helped a great number of fellow Dercum’s patients.

Liposuction procedure

Scientific Research

This is one area of Dercum’s Disease that has been studied clinically, with the results published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. We highly recommend that you and your doctor take the time to read this article in order to help inform your healthcare decisions.

Read Article