Coverlipedema.com recommends that while members are waiting to see their first-choice surgeon, they explore other local options for plastic surgeons. Having surgery closer to home is more convenient and can be safer. Plus, we believe that so many qualified surgeons remain to be discovered.
A Great Way to Find Surgeons
Since we are always looking for more qualified, board-certified plastic surgeons to increase access to care for women suffering from lipedema, we are asking our members to help us contact local surgeons. If your BMI is 39 or lower, Coverliepdmea.com will give you the names of recommended surgeons in your region when you join, as well as some other local surgeons who we are considering whether they could benefit the lipedema community. In addition to attending plastic surgeon conferences and meeting surgeons in person ourselves, office visits by local patients are a good way to gauge whether a surgeon wants to treat lipedema. We also hope that surgeons who get plenty of calls about lipedema might consider treating it.
How to Do it
We recommend that you call the plastic surgery practice and ask the receptionist to ask the surgeon directly if they treat lipedema and spell it out so as not to confuse it with lymphedema. Also, ask for any BMI limits as often that is a barrier to treatment. If you have a BMI over 35, you also might want to ask if the surgeon uses power-assisted liposuction and is on staff at the local hospital, so they might be able to perform large-volume liposuction with an overnight stay. Do not mention insurance coverage at this time.
If you get positive feedback from the practice, you can make an appointment and let Coverlipedema.com know. We will make ourselves available on the phone when you are at the appointment to help you speak with the surgeon about how and where they operate and their approach to insurance coverage. We can also connect them with other plastic surgeons that treat lipedema, like Dr. Karol Gutowski.
You Might Find a Great Surgeon Close to You
This method of finding surgeons has been very successful for us, We also hope that it will help you find a safe, effective, and insurance-friendly surgeon close to your home. In some cases, Coverlipedema.com recommends plastic surgeons who are already treating lipedema but do not want to publicize their lipedema practice. Keeping a low profile is a good idea for some lipedema surgeons. One of our recommended surgeons, Dr. Omar Beidas was inundated with patient consultations from all over the country when we first announced him on our social media. His staff was so overwhelmed that they were ready to quit. He quickly had a backlog of patients and was booked almost a year in advance. He was and still is so popular because he is in-network with many insurers. However, many surgeons are not interested in this kind of attention. About half the surgeons we work with are in-network, but we are very careful about who we recommend to them based on a patient’s insurance. If these surgeons were paid poorly by insurance too many times, they might stop treating lipedema.