Bariatric Surgery and RADs
People with Dercum's disease and lipedema have undergone bariatric surgery. The most successful people work with a manual lymph drainage therapist and wear appropriate compression or undergo wrapping as needed. Normal fat is lost, some lipomas and areas of lipedema get smaller but in Dercum's disease, many of the lipomas remain, especially those that are fibrotic, and pain and fatigue can also remain. There is one published report of a woman with Dercum's disease that did not lose weight after bariatric surgery. There is one report of a woman with lipedema who lost a lot of weight with bariatric surgery and her lipedema improved greatly. The underlying cause of Dercum's disease or lipedema does not improve with bariatric surgery, however, but the co-morbidities of diabetes, hypertension and hyperlipidemia improve making this procedure well worth it for some individuals.
Karen Herbst, a physician, educator and fat and lymphatic disease advocate