What is lipoedema? The condition Shaughna Phillips has recently had surgery to treat
21st September 2020

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Love Island star Shaughna Phillips has recently had liposuction on her lower legs.

The star confirmed the news after teasing fans on her Instagram Stories of having undergone a mystery surgery.

However on Sunday, the star explained what she had had done, and why.

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Posting to Instagram the 26 year old wrote: "So just because I've seen so many questions on my In The Style Q&A about what surgery I've had, I just thought I'd let you all know because I'm not going to hide anything and I was going to tell you all anyway.

"I have had liposuction on my lower legs, so my calves, because I was recently diagnosed with lipoedema, once I'd come out of the villa.”

But what is lipoedema? Here is everything you need to know.

What is Lipoedema?

The NHS website defines lipoedema as “a long-term (chronic) condition where there's an abnormal build-up of fat cells in the legs, thighs and buttocks, and sometimes in the arms.”

It is a condition that mainly affects women, although men may have it in very rare cases.

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What are the symptoms?

Those who have lipoedema will find their thighs, buttocks, lower legs and sometimes arms, become enlarged.

It affects both legs and/or arms to the same extent, however the condition can get gradually worse over time.

Additional to limbs becoming enlarged the body may “feel soft, ‘doughy" and cold , bruise easily, ache or feel painful” or even “have small broken veins under the skin”.

How do you treat lipoedema?

The NHS has said there has not been too much research into how to treat the condition.

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However, if you do have lipoedema is is important to avoid putting on too much weight or becoming obese as it will only worsen the condition.

Wearing compression tights is also useful as they can help to reduce the pain and support the fatty swelling.

The only treatment that is known to be effective in actually reducing the build up of fatty tissue is tumescent liposuction, which is what Shaughna must have had done.

To prevent the condition, people can try compression therapy, low-impact exercise and massage.

However, dieting will not work at all as this tends to result in loss of fat from areas not affected by lipoedema, with hardly any effect on the areas that have it.

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