When Coverlipedema started working with lipedema in 2018, we only knew three doctors in the country diagnosing lipedema. Women would wait years for an appointment, spend thousands traveling across the country and get a minimal exam and diagnosis. Today, Coverlipedema has a list of almost fifty clinicians we can recommend who can provide extensive exam notes and letters for their patients.
The Problem with Vascular Specialists
However, women on social media, particularly on Facebook, seem to jump on any recommendation for someone to diagnose them. The advice is often to find a vascular doctor. While some vascular doctors might know about lipedema, they are trained to focus on venous issues. While they often diagnose lipedema in the legs, they miss other important diagnostic findings. We also have seen women fall into the hands of vascular doctors who treat them for months and sometimes years for vein issues that could have been resolved by treating the lipedema first. A good vascular specialist has their place for most lipedema patients and will consult with a plastic surgeon as to what needs to be done vascularly before surgery. Unless you have to see a vascular doctor because your insurance requires it (UnitedHealthcare, for example), we recommend that you see someone we have vetted and knows specifically what needs to be documented for lipedema insurance coverage.
You Should Not Have to Pay Too Much for a Diagnosis
We have tried to find more physicians who are in network and understand lipedema. Paying $500 or more for a lipedema diagnosis seems unnecessary. There has been some education of obesity medicine specialists, and we prefer physicians and other clinicians that are at larger universities, but in some cases, a reasonably priced cash practice is fine. We have found several advanced practice nurses who have lipedema and can diagnose, as well. They can be very understanding.
We Know Many Clinicians who can Diagnose Lipedema.
We prefer that our members see clinicians we recommend as we continually update them on insurance documentation requirements. We are happy for you to join and, of course, if you do not have lipedema, we will refund your member fee. We also are happy to give local recommendations to women who contact us for advice.