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What is lipoedema?

Lipoedema is an abnormal build-up of fat cells, mostly in women. Unlike lymphoedema, it isn't caused by surgery or infection - it is often hereditary and tends to develop when your hormone levels are fluctuating throughout pregnancy, menopause etc.

While lipoedema is made worse by carrying excess weight, many women with lipoedema are within the normal weight range.

What causes lymphoedema?

Your lymphatic system is a network of lymph ducts called lymph nodes or glands. It helps move white blood cells around your body to fight infection. It also carries excess fluid away from your body tissues.

Lymphoedema is swelling, caused by abnormal drainage in your lymphatic system.

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