Wondering if Australia’s Medicare system covers liposuction for lipedema (lipoedema)? Despite the fact it’s thought to affect 1 in 9 Australian females (source), Medicare does not cover liposuction to treat lipoedema. In this article, we’re covering what you need to know about lipoedema, and how you can go about treating this condition.

What is Lipoedema?

Lipoedema is a condition characterised by the unusual accumulation of fatty tissue, typically in the legs. It can develop during significant hormonal shifts such as puberty, pregnancy, IVF treatments, and menopause. The severity and symptoms of lipoedema can vary widely among individuals, meaning not everyone experiences the condition in the same way.

Does Medicare Cover Liposuction for Lipoedema?

In April 2018, the World Health Organisation officially recognised lipoedema as a disease. However, as of 2024, the Australian Federal Government has yet to do the same. As such, Medicare does not cover liposuction for the purposes of treating lipoedema.

Liposuction is often needed to treat lipoedema, which in severe cases can greatly impact a person’a mobility. Australians with lipoedema currently have to find their own treatment, as most health insurance providers will not cover liposuction for lipoedema either.

Does Medicare Cover Liposuction for Other Conditions?

Medicare offers benefits for liposuction under specific conditions, primarily for:

  • Treating post-traumatic pseudolipoma
  • Certain medical conditions like Barraquer-Simons syndrome, lymphoedema, or macrodystrophia lipomatosa
  • To reduce a buffalo hump due to an endocrine disorder or medication

Liposuction for one regional area is covered under item 45585, with a requirement for documented clinical need through photos or imaging.

Lipoedema Treatment Options

Lipoedema treatment options include a range of therapies aimed at managing symptoms and improving quality of life:

  • Manual Lymphatic Drainage: A gentle massage technique that helps move excess fluid back into the circulatory system.
  • Compression Therapy: Wearing specially designed garments to improve fluid flow and reduce swelling.
  • Exercise: Low-impact activities like swimming or cycling to help reduce symptoms and improve mobility.
  • Diet and Lifestyle Changes: Maintaining a healthy weight can help manage the condition’s progression.
  • Liposuction: Surgical removal of fatty tissue to reduce volume in affected areas, used in more advanced cases.
  • Surgical Options: In severe cases, procedures like lymph node transfer or excisional surgeries might be considered.
    It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for your specific condition.

Can Liposuction Fix Lipoedema?

With current knowledge about the condition, lipoedema cannot be completely eradicated, but its impact can be significantly reduced through various treatments, including liposuction.

Liposuction for lipoedema goes beyond cosmetic improvement; it’s a medical intervention aimed at alleviating the condition’s symptoms and improving the patient’s quality of life.

Managing lipoedema effectively requires a serious approach, considering both the physical and psychological aspects of the condition.

How to Tell if You Have Lipoedema

Identifying lipoedema involves looking for characteristic symptoms: disproportionate fat accumulation, typically in the legs, that doesn’t improve with diet or exercise; pain or tenderness in the affected areas; a feeling of heaviness; and easy bruising.

Unlike typical fat distribution, lipoedema fat is symmetrical and often spares the feet, creating a “bracelet” effect above the ankles. If you notice these signs, consulting a healthcare provider who specialises in lipoedema is crucial for a proper diagnosis and to discuss potential treatment options.

Explore Lipoedema Liposuction with Levant Cosmetic Surgery

Struggling with lipoedema? Levant Cosmetic Surgery may be able to help, offering advanced leg Vaser liposuction to address the challenges you face. This advanced procedure aims to alleviate the discomfort and mobility challenges associated with lipoedema, offering a path towards improved wellbeing and quality of life. Schedule a consultation online, or call us on 1300 323 772 to find out more.

Medicare Cover Lipoedema FAQs

Is liposuction covered by Medicare for lipoedema?

As of 2024, Medicare does not cover liposuction for lipoedema. It covers liposuction for certain conditions, such as treating post-traumatic pseudolipoma, Barraquer-Simons syndrome, lymphoedema, or macrodystrophia lipomatosa, or to reduce a buffalo hump due to an endocrine disorder or medication.

How much does lipoedema surgery cost in Australia?

The cost of liposuction to treat lipoedema varies, but as a general rule, most patients need a minimum of 2 surgeries (depending on how far advanced the condition is). This means surgery could cost anywhere from $11,000 to $15,000 and beyond.

Why is lipoedema not covered by insurance?

Medicare and health insurance currently do not cover lipoedema treatments, viewing them as cosmetic rather than medically necessary. However, there’s growing advocacy for coverage due to lipoedema’s potential to severely impair mobility and affect quality of life, highlighting the need for recognition of its medical significance.

Why Choose Levant Cosmetic Surgery?

Your Choice of Doctor:
Our highly skilled medical team consists of plastic surgeons, FRACS surgeons, and liposuction doctors, and it's your choice who you decide you want to operate on you.
Patient Satisfaction:
We strive to meet our patient's expectations and prioritise their safety and satisfaction with our services.
Fair and Transparent Pricing:
During your consultation you will be provided with transparent pricing and a detailed breakdown of the costs incurred for the treatment choices that align with your desired result outcomes.
Thorough Consultations:
Every consultation is comprehensive, giving you ample time to discuss your procedural options with your doctor and receive personalised patient information inclusive of potential risks, side effects, and complications.
Exceptional Post-Operative Care:
We perform your follow-up appointments with care as we believe your aftercare is as crucial as the procedure itself. Your recovery will be guided by your doctor in collaboration with our post-operative nursing team.
24-Hour Doctor Assistance:
For any concerns or queries post-surgery our doctors are available 24-hours including after hours for their patients. In the event of a medical emergency, please call 000.
6 week post op results for this patient who had her chin & neck treated with Vaser Liposuction with @dr_chris_lee at Levant Cosmetic Surgery Canberra.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from a qualified health practitioner.
Results, recovery & potential complications will vary for each individual patient.
Read more here - https://levantcs.com.au/risks-and-recovery

Photos & videos featured are not a guarantee that your results will be the same & do not guarantee a particular surgical outcome.
Content on our Instagram page is published with the consent of our patients.
The content featured is general in nature and does not constitute medical advice.
Images taken immediately post-operatively may not reflect final results.

Surgery performed by:
Dr Chris Lee AHPRA MED0000947000
Registered Medical Practitioner

Want to learn more about this treatment & whether you may be a suitable candidate? Please call our team on 1300 138 797 for a consultation.
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#liposuction #vaserliposuction #canberra #results #beforeandafter
Unsure on how to find us? Here’s a quick video to guide you step by step to Levant Cosmetic Surgery Gold Coast! 
Be sure to send this to your pick-up/carer if you are having surgery with us for a smooth pick-up process. 

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from a qualified health practitioner.
Results, recovery & potential complications will vary for each individual patient.
Read more here - https://levantcs.com.au/risks-and-recovery

Photos & videos featured are not a guarantee that your results will be the same & do not guarantee a particular surgical outcome.
Content on our Instagram page is published with the consent of our patients.
The content featured is general in nature and does not constitute medical advice.
Images taken immediately post-operatively mav not reflect final results.

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#liposuction #fattransfer #vaserliposuction #goldcoast #australia #cosmetics
Have you met @drerfanrahbar from Levant Cosmetic Surgery Adelaide? Dr Erfan Rahbar MBBS FRACGP, brings his expertise to the field of cosmetic medicine, focusing on patient care and safety throughout their cosmetic treatment journey.

To book a consultation with Dr Rahbar please reach out on 1300323772.

Results, recovery & potential complications will vary for each individual patient. Read more here. https://www.levantcs.com.au/risks-and-recovery/

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from a qualified health practitioner.
Photos & videos featured are not a guarantee that your results will be the same & do not guarantee a particular surgical outcome.
Content on our Instagram page is published with the consent of our patients.
The content featured is general in nature and does not constitute medical advice.

Dr. Erfan Rahbar MED0001122411 Registered medical practitioner.
.
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#levantcs #cosmeticsurgery #vaserliposuction #liposuction
Vaser liposuction results for this patient who had her neck treated with @drerfanrahbar & is now at 6 weeks post op.

Results, recovery & potential complications will vary for each individual patient. Read more here https://www.levantcs.com.au/risks-and-recovery/

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from a qualified health practitioner.
Photos & videos featured are not a guarantee that your results will be the same & do not guarantee a particular surgical outcome.
Content on our Instagram page is published with the consent of our patients.
The content featured is general in nature and does not constitute medical advice.
Images taken immediately post-operatively may not reflect final results.

Treatment performed by Dr. Erfan Rahbar MED0001122411 Registered medical practitioner.

Want to learn more about this treatment? Reach out for a consultation today on 1300 323 772.

You can also learn more at https://www.levantcs.com.au/

#levantsc #liposuction #neckliposuction #vaserliposuction
Have you seen the latest offering for cosmetic treatments at Levant Cosmetic Surgery?

Our highly skilled medical team consists of plastic surgeons, FRACS surgeons, and liposuction doctors. It's your choice who you decide you want to operate on you.

Want to learn more about a treatment at Levant? Reach out for a consultation today on 1300 323 772.

You can also learn more at https://www.levantcs.com.au/

Results, recovery & potential complications will vary for each individual patient. Read more here https://www.levantcs.com.au/risks-and-recovery/

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from a qualified health practitioner.
Photos & videos featured are not a guarantee that your results will be the same & do not guarantee a particular surgical outcome.
Content on our Instagram page is published with the consent of our patients.
The content featured is general in nature and does not constitute medical advice.
Images taken immediately post-operatively may not reflect final results.

#levantsc #liposuction #fattransfer #vaserliposuction #fattransfertohips #fattransfertobuttocks
This patient had Vaser liposuction to her back & flanks. She saw @dr_mitchell_kim & @dr_kai_gebusion for treatment & is now 8 weeks post op.

Results, recovery & potential complications will vary for each individual patient. Read more here https://www.levantcs.com.au/risks-and-recovery/

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from a qualified health practitioner.
Photos & videos featured are not a guarantee that your results will be the same & do not guarantee a particular surgical outcome.
Content on our Instagram page is published with the consent of our patients.
The content featured is general in nature and does not constitute medical advice.
Images taken immediately post-operatively may not reflect final results.

Treatment performed by Dr Mitchell Kim AHPRA MED0001187435, Dr Karen Gebusion AHPRA MED0001264960 Registered Medical Practitioners. General Registrations.

Want to learn more about this treatment? Please reach out for a consultation today on 1300 323 772.

You can also learn more at https://www.levantcs.com.au/

#levantcs #liposuction #fattransfer #vaserliposuction