Lipedema on the arms

Do you suffer from unexplained weight gain on your arms that does not disappear despite exercise and a healthy diet? Do you feel affected by complaints such as pain, feelings of tightness and a changed body shape? Then you could possibly be suffering from lipedema of the arms. Lipedema is a chronic condition that is often underestimated and poses major challenges for women.

But you are not alone – we want to offer you comprehensive support. Our team of experts at LIPOCURA® specialises in lipedema and will inform you in detail about the causes, symptoms and individual treatment options. Together we want to ensure that you develop a better understanding of your situation. In addition, we will introduce you to our holistic treatment to improve your well-being in the long term as well.

Arrange consultation


What is the cause of lipedema on the arms?

The chronic fat distribution disorder lipedema is usually associated with the legs. However, the arms can also be affected.

Am I to blame for lipedema? Clearly: No! It is not a matter of ordinary overweight, which can be self-inflicted through lack of exercise or an unhealthy diet. The condition occurs unevenly – but always on both extremities at the same time. For example, the arms are clearly thickened, but the torso is relatively slim. What causes lipedema has not yet been conclusively researched. However, various factors are closely connected.

Genetic predisposition

The condition has been found to run in families, suggesting that certain genes may play a role in the development of lipedema. If there is a family history of lipedema, such as a mother’s or grandmother’s (or paternal) history, the risk of developing the condition increases. Genetic factors can influence the distribution of fat in the body and thus also lead in some cases to an uneven accumulation of fat on the arms, which is characteristic of lipedema.

Hormonal causes

The influence of hormones on women affected by lipedema is also observed. The fat distribution disorder usually appears for the first time during or after puberty and can be further aggravated by hormonal changes such as pregnancy or the menopause. Fluctuations in the hormonal balance can lead to an increased accumulation of fatty tissue in the affected regions and an increase in the typical symptoms of lipedema.

Symptoms of lipedema of the arms

The phenomenon of lipedema can have a wide variety of symptoms, depending on the person affected and the advanced stage. Signs you can look out for include:

Despite regular exercise and a healthy diet, the arms increase in circumference. The weight seems to accumulate mainly in the upper arms, while other parts of the body remain unchanged.

The affected areas of the arms may be sensitive to pressure and sometimes cause severe pain, for example after walking or standing for a long time.

The skin on the arms can be more prone to bruising and haematoma. Bruises can form quickly from even light bumps.

Lipedema of the arms can lead to a persistent feeling of tightness in the arms. The arms may feel tired and heavy, even with little physical exertion.

Affected people often receive only a lack of support from those around them. This, the persistent discomfort and also the aesthetic dissatisfaction can have a strong impact on the psyche.


Stage I

Most of the skin is still smooth, but the subcutaneous fatty tissue may already be thickened.

More about Lipedema stage 1.

Stage II

Large fat pads begin to form and can be felt as "rice grain-like nodules" under the skin. The upper arms look clearly thickened, can be sensitive to pressure and hurt.

More about Lipedema stage 2.

Stage III

There is uncontrolled proliferation of subcutaneous tissue and flaps of fat can hang on the inside of the upper arms. This often leads to chafing or problems lifting the arms. Significant pain, cold sensations and feelings of tension are frequently mentioned as symptoms.

More about Lipedema stage 3.


Stage IV

With LIPOCURA® we define an additional, fourth stage. Especially in the case of lipedema that has gone untreated for a long time, significant fluid retention - oedema - can occur. The result is the so-called lipo-lymphoedema.

What treatment for lipedema of the upper and lower arms?

Lipedema of the upper and lower arms can be a significant burden for those affected. Although there is no cure for the condition, various treatment approaches can be used to alleviate symptoms and improve the overall well-being of patients. The choice of treatment depends on the individual stage of the disease, the symptoms and the needs of the patient.

Conservative therapy

Conservative treatment should always be used to relieve symptoms such as swelling and a feeling of tightness. The earlier the diagnosis of lipedema is made, the sooner a therapy tailored specifically to the patient can be started.

This includes:

  • Special compression garments that can increase pressure on the tissue and improve circulation.
  • Manual lymphatic drainage, where the experienced physiotherapist uses special grip techniques to promote lymph flow.
  • Exercise therapy to strengthen the muscles.
  • A healthy diet to control accompanying excess weight.

Conservative lipedema therapy is an important companion in the everyday life of lipedema fighters. However, it also has its limits and cannot cure the disease, but only alleviate the symptoms.



If conservative measures are not sufficiently effective, liposuction can be a good solution. This surgical procedure removes the abnormal fatty tissue from the affected arms. In this way, discomfort can be alleviated or even completely combated and at the same time the aesthetic appearance can be adjusted. At LIPOCURA®, liposuction for lipedema is performed on the arms using the PAL method (“power assisted liposuction”). The special tumescent technique is used in combination with vibrating cannulas to precisely remove fat cells while sparing the surrounding tissue. Our experienced specialists perform every lipedema operation under general anaesthesia, this allows them to remove larger amounts of diseased fat in fewer operations. In parallel, we offer skin tightening to remove excess tissue and avoid so-called “angled arms”.

More to liposuction of the arms

Counselling for lipedema patients

We understand that you may have tried various conservative treatment approaches but have not had satisfactory results. Or you may not have been diagnosed with lipedema yet. In either case, we are happy to discuss your individual situation and show you the best treatment options. At LIPOCURA® you benefit from holistic treatment – we would be happy to welcome you for a personal, confidential consultation at one of our specialist centres near you!

Arrange consultation

More topics

You might also be interested in

Always there for you

Our locations

LIPOCURA® Frankfurt - Eterno Health


Eterno, Bockenheimer Landstr. 33-35/5. OG

60325 Frankfurt am Main


+49 69 2475309-0

Opening hours

  • Monday: 12:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Tuesday: 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
  • Friday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm