Lipedema is a chronic progressive, a difficult-to-diagnose disease that almost exclusively affects women. It has only been included in the international statistical classification of diseases (ICD-10) at the beginning of this year. Current, lifelong conservative therapy is used such as lymph drainage, compression, and movement therapy to alleviate the discomfort. However, these methods do not influence the existing fat growth. Liposuction is a surgical procedure in which the due to illness increased adipose tissue is removed. Patients are usually operated several times with this treatment.
The procedure of the assessment of liposuction in lipedema was initiated by a consultation request from the patient representation in the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA). Existing evidence was not sufficient to prove an added value of the method. However, the technology shows potential as an alternative to existing treatments. Therefore, the G-BA induced a co-funded trial starting in January 2018 with the aim to generate missing knowledge for the benefit and safety of the liposuction. Costs for liposuction in context with the trial will be covered for the patients.
For the duration of the trial, the procedure will be listed in Annex II B (Methods whose evaluation procedures are suspended) of the directive for methods of examination and treatment in hospital settings. This status is valid until September 2022 when the consultation procedure will be resumed.
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