Lymphoedema & Lipoedema
Lymphoedema and lipoedema both cause leg and arm swelling and because of this, they are often confused. In fact, they are quite different things - although the teams involved in managing them do overlap. With lymphoedema, you have an inherent problem with the function of your lymphatic vessels (tiny tubes that drain the excess fluid from your limbs), resulting in stagnant body fluid that can become infected. If untreated, over time, you can develop deep scarring of your tissues, permanently swollen legs and skin ulceration. Careful management with your lymphoedema therapists is the mainstay of treatment and is essential to prevent this condition progressing further. You should be able to access this through the NHS, although Mr Ghattuara and his team can also offer this service privately.
Lipoedema, on the other hand, is condition, where you develop fatty excess in your legs, hips and arms, out of proportion to the rest of your body. With lipoedema, your lymphatic vessels are essentially normal in the early stages and you will not have excess fluid in your legs. If left untreated, however, lipoemdema can develop into lipo-lymphoedema, a combined condition.
Mr Ghattaura has pioneered one of the first complete Lymphoedema Surgery Services in the NHS and offers most surgical treatments for this condition. He holds regular clinics with the Welsh National Lymphoedema leads, both privately and on the NHS. Mr Ghattaura has also developed a secondary expertise in Bodyjet water-assisted liposuction, used to manage both lymphoedema and lipoedema.
Mr Ghattaura feels very strongly that surgery for lipoedema and lymphoedema can only be effective if you have the constant support of the lymphoedema therapists. For this reason, he works closely with the same team in his NHS practice and privately and will always see you in joint clinics. The therpaists provide advise on skin care, bandaging, massage therapies as well as psychological support. Together, Mr Ghattaura and his team aim to provide a comprehensive package of care for both lymphoedema and lipoedema.