Lipoedema: a paradigm shift and consensus

This consensus document provides practitioners with a paradigm shift in their knowledge of lipoedema. As described by Hugo Partsch

“The consensus proposed by the group attempts to dispel some of the rampant myths surrounding lipoedema and introduces a paradigm shift in the pathophysiology of lipoedema, as it states that lipoedema is not an oedematous condition at all.”

In 2018 and 2019, a group of lymphology experts from seven European countries met in Hamburg to develop this consensus. This group was led by Tobias Bertsch, who is a senior consultant at the Földi Clinic in Hinterzarten, Germany.

Consensus group

  • Domenico Corda: Polimedica San Lanfranco, Pavia, Italy
  • Robert J. Damstra, Kirsten van Duinen, Jose van Esch-Smeenge, Ad Hendrickx, Bea Koet: Center of Expertise in Lymphovascular Medicine, Nij Smellinghe, Drachten, ­ The Netherlands
  • Joanna Dudek: SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanties, Warsaw, Poland
  • Rebecca Elwell: University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, UK
  • Gabriele Faerber: Centre for Vascular Medicine, Hamburg, Germany
  • Sharie Fetzer: Lipoedema UK, UK
  • Jodok Fink: Department of General and Visceral Surgery at the Medical Center, University of Freiburg, Germany
  • Annemarieke Fleming: Rehabilitation-Centre Reade, Amsterdam, ­ The Netherlands
  • Kristiana Gordon: St. George’s Hospital, UK
  • Denise Hardy: Kendal Lymphology Centre, UK
  • Tobias Hirsch: Practice for Internal Medicine and Vascular Disease, Halle, Germany
  • Peter Mallinger: Klagenfurt Clinic, Austria
  • Anya Miller: Practice for Dermatology, Berlin, Germany
  • Christine Moffatt: Nottingham Trent University, UK
  • Nestor Torio-Padron: Practice Clinic for Plastic Surgery, Freiburg, Germany
  • Christian Ure: Lymphology Clinic, Wolfsberg, Austria
  • Stephan Wagner: RehaClinic, Bad Zurzach, Switzerland

Other KOLs supporting the consensus

  • Hakan Brorson: Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Skåne University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden
  • Leif Perbeck: Karolinska University Hospital, Sweden
  • Nele Devoogdt: Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium Sarah ­ omis: University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium
  • Stéphane Vignes: Lymphology Service, Reference Centre for Rare Vascular Diseases, Hôpital Cognacq-Jay, Paris
  • France Michael Oberlin: Földi Clinic–European Center of Lymphology, Hinterzarten, Germany
  • René Hägerling: Researcher at Charité, University of Berlin, Germany
  • Katja S. Mühlberg: University of Leipzig, Germany Erika Mendoza: Practice for Venous Diseases, Wunstorf, Gemany
  • Andrzej Szuba: Department of Angiology, Hypertension and Diabetology, Wroclaw Medical University, Poland

The authors hope that the treatment strategy presented in this supplement should show physicians and therapists treating patients with lipoedema the direction in which to guide their patients.

Read the consensus

The Canadian Lymphoedema Framework, in their Fall 2020 Pathways publication, printed an excellent  interview with Tobias Bertsch exploring the development of the consensus document.

Originally published in Pathways, (Fall 2020) Copyright 2020, Canadian Lymphedema Framework, Reprinted with permission.