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Lipedema Specialist - Dr. Ethan Larson

Dr. Larson

Dr. Larson is an expert when it comes to the surgical treatment of lipedema. His interest in the subject began during his residency at Georgetown where he studied the treatment of lipodystrophy syndromes. It expanded during his Microvascular Surgery Fellowship at the University of Washington to include management of lymphedema. There he learned to perform lymphaticovenular anastomoses and other healing modalities for lymphedema. The treatment of lymphedema naturally progressed to a fascination with lipedema and the associated disorders of fat and connective tissue.

In 2013, this interest was catapulted into overdrive when Dr. Karen Herbst, world-renowned lipedema expert, joined the faculty of the University of Arizona College of Medicine. At the time, Dr. Larson was the Chief of Plastic Surgery at the same institution. Together, they began to collaborate on techniques for the surgical treatment of lipedema. These included panniculectomy, brachioplasty, thigh-lift and suction-assisted lipectomy of all areas of the body where painful fat can be located. In addition, Dr. Larson has removed numerous painful Dercum’s Disease lipomas and angiolipomas. Whenever possible, the removed fat from all of these cases is donated through Dr. Herbst’s laboratory to further research efforts regarding lipedema. Their collaboration is ongoing. Occasionally Dr. Herbst will attend the surgery to help refine technique.

Lipedema Standard of Care Consensus Committee

In 2019, Dr. Larson served on the Lipedema Standard of Care Consensus Committee. This was a panel of lipedema experts from all over the United States who were convened in Baltimore prior to the FDRS Meeting to discuss establishing nationwide standards for the diagnosis and treatment of lipedema.

Official Committee Statement:

The first United States (US) Standard of Care meeting for lipedema was held on April 11-12, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland in association with the Fat Disorders Resource Society 2019 conference. This effort was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). This landmark meeting was a multidisciplinary collaborative effort with 21-US based members with expertise in lipedema. This meeting was the first step towards the development of a national guideline for the diagnosis and management of lipedema. This is an ongoing collaboration and more information will be forthcoming.

Understanding Lipedema

Dr. Larson understands that lipedema is a specific disorder. He is aware of the difference between dietary weight gain and lipedema weight. He can diagnose the progression of the disease in stages. He has seen how debilitating the disease can be. He empathizes with how frustrating it can be to arrive at a diagnosis. He also understands the various treatment options and wants to help.

Dr. Larson continues to employ a variety of techniques in the treatment of lipedema. He collaborates with Dr. Jamie Schwartz in the Total Lipedema Care initiative. Dr. Schwartz and Dr. Larson represent two of only a few Board-Certified Plastic Surgeons who perform liposuction and other treatments for this condition. Dr. Larson offers Water Jet Assisted Liposuction (WAL) as well as Tumescent Liposuction (TAL) and Power-Assisted Liposuction (PAL). Renuvion, or J-Plasma technology is available and employed to help tighten loose skin following liposuction. Dr. Larson is also experienced in excisional skin procedures should these be necessary. In the past, Dr. Larson has studied technique with Peter Neligan, David Amron, and Joseph Stutz. He has gone on to develop his own surgical technique to optimize patient cosmetic results while maximizing the removal of fatty deposits. This technique focuses on lymphatic-sparing suction-assisted fat extraction combined with manual fat nodule extraction followed by fat equalization and smoothing. He is sensitive to the costs and endeavors to achieve the best possible results in the fewest possible surgeries. Dr. Larson collaborates with a compression specialist to help achieve the best result as early as possible and maintain these results over time.


Lipedema Specialist
Lipedema Specialist
Lipedema Specialist
Lipedema Specialist

Our Team

The team at Larson Plastic Surgery is dedicated to making your lipedema victory as quick and painless as possible. We are also committed to lasting, tangible, meaningful results. We strive to make those results as aesthetically pleasing as possible. We are here to listen to you and tailor a lipedema treatment program in line with your goals Please give us a call or shoot us an email and we would love to discuss any questions you might have.

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Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19 View Update Virtual Consultation

Practice Policy Update Regarding COVID-19

In accordance with the decision made by the Governor, elective surgery will once again be possible in the state of Arizona as of May 1.

This means that we will be expanding the operating hours of our office on a limited basis to accommodate new patients and to care for post-operative patients.

Physical Distancing measures will still be in effect. If you are coming to the office, please wear a mask and sanitize or wash your hands before entering and frequently while you are with us. We will be wearing masks as well and limiting physical and close contact.

If you are coughing, feeling ill or have a fever, DO NOT come to the office. Call us instead and we can make arrangements to see you if you need us. We will also have limited staff present in the office so things may run a bit more slowly.

Telemedicine consults are still available, and we encourage you to use this option if possible.

We are working to reschedule all the patients who had their surgeries temporarily canceled as a result of the quarantine. We will be in touch with you to do so, there is no need to call us. Please be patient with us, the surgery centers and hospitals will be working through a major backlog.

The mortality rate of this disease climbs sharply after 50. If you are over 50, please stay home if at all possible. Patients over 60 should only come to the office for emergencies or issues that cannot wait such as trauma or cancer.

Please be safe and bear with us as we begin the phased process of re-opening.

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