Exploring Treatment Options For Lipoma

In This Article

Exploring Treatment Options For Lipoma

Dr. Sameena

Dr. Sameena

Updated on March 15, 2024

Medically verified by Dr. Arya

Fact checked by Dr. Pournami

Treatment Options For Lipoma

Cosmetic

7 min read

Are you seeking effective and innovative treatment options for lipomas?

Wanted to know about the latest advancements in managing these fatty tumors?

Let’s know in depth about the various invasive and non invasive treatments for lipomas , pros and cons of each

Mykare Health provides you with everything on one note, clearing away all your questions, doubts and myths busted.

What is Lipoma

  • Lipoma is a slow-growing, fatty lump that's most often situated between your skin and the underlying muscle
  • It feels doughy and isn't tender
  • It is well defined and consists of fat
  • It moves readily with slight finger pressure.
  • It can occur anywhere on the body like neck, shoulders, back, abdomen, arms and thighs. and hence called as universal tumor
  • It isn’t a cancer and usually harmless but very rarely can turn to malignant form which is cancerous
  • They generally are pea size small < 5 cm but if they grow they become painful and press on nearby nerves or if they contain many blood vessels.

Causes of Lipoma

  • Age is a factor. Lipomas are most common in middle age between 40-60 years.
  • Genetic or family history
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Glucose intolerance
  • Liver disease

Lipomas can occur more frequently if you have a medical condition such as

  • Adiposis dolorosa
  • Gardner's syndrome
  • Madelung’s disease
  • Cowden syndrome

When To See A Doctor?

  • Whenever you notice a strange lump on your body, you should head to your doctor for a diagnosis. It might turn out to be a harmless lipoma, but there is always a chance that it could be an indication of a more serious condition.
  • It could be a cancerous liposarcoma.

Lipoma vs Liposarcoma

LipomaLiposarcoma
Mostly benign ( not cancerous )Malignant or cancerous
Can occur anywhere on the bodyMore common on extremities like thighs
excellent prognosispoor prognosis
Occurs in middle ageOccurs in late age group
Small in sizeGrows rapidly and painful often

Other symptoms to be discussed with your doctor are :

  • Level of your pain increases in size of lump
  • Lump starts feeling warm/hot
  • Lump becomes hard or immovable
  • Additional skin changes

What are the types of Lipomas?

All lipomas are made of fat. Some lipomas also contain blood vessels or other tissues like:

  • Angiolipomas- contain fat and blood vessels and are painful
  • Fibrolipoma - has fat and fibrous tissue
  • Hibernoma - contains brown fat which regulates body temperature
  • Myelolipoma - has fat and tissues which produce blood cells

Diagnosis

1.Imaging : ultrasonography, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and CT (Computed Tomography) scans are.

These help to determine the size, location, depth, and consistency of the lipoma and also help to assess the surrounding tissues and structures, such as the vascularity

2. Fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) if suspected as malignancy or cancerous : sample of the tissue is extracted and examined under a microscope to look for cancerous cells and differentiate between a benign lipoma and liposarcoma.

Who Needs To Have Surgery for Lipoma Removal?

Lipomas generally don’t need to be removed. But consider removing when they: BOX

  • Are causing pain
  • Bothering cosmetically
  • Getting bigger
  • Inducing fear of malignancy
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Treatment Options For Lipoma

Surgical

  • Simple excision beyond its capsule- making an incision on the skin, removing the lump using a scalpel, and closing the incision with sutures. Cons are :
  • unaesthetic scarring
  • surgical complications such as haematoma and seroma formation
  • pain
  • Risk of surgical site infection and
  • Rarely recurrence.
  • Excision via mini incision/squeeze technique, laser lipolysis, liposuction, endoscopic resection, and injection lipolysis (mesotherapy) are the treatment modalities available, especially for patients with multiple lipomatosis

Minimal excision

This involves making a smaller incision compared to other excisional surgeries , so that lipoma can be squeezed and easily pushed out with forceps or a lipoma spoon.

Pros : minimal scarring Suitable for smaller lipomas

  • Newer minimally invasive methods such as liposuction, laser lipolysis and endoscopic removal have better cosmetic outcomes than surgical excision.

  • Endoscopic excision: Uses a small flexible tube called endoscope and which has a camera and a light source that helps in visualization and inserted for the removal of lipoma ,

  • Pros : when lipomas are located in difficult to reach or sensitive areas makes this procedure more effective

  • Minimal scars

  • Liposuction “Vacuuming” out the lipoma typically doesn’t remove it all, and the remainder grows back slowly.This involves making a small incision near the lump and inserting the liposuction cannula. The cannula is used to suction out the fatty tissues of the lipoma, aiding in its removal. The rest of the tissues may be excised if required. It is suitable for smaller lipomas.

Non surgical

  • Mesotherapy (injection lipolysis) has an advantage over these surgical procedures with respect to cosmesis Pros it does not require an incision of any sort. Sodium deoxycholate, the active component in mesotherapy, induces the destruction of fat cells in a non-specific fashion due to its detergent action
  • Mesotherapy can be provided on an outpatient basis, does not require anesthesia, so significantly less pain and has excellent results with regard to cosmesis.
  • It was observed that the patients in the mesotherapy group experienced significantly less pain than those who underwent surgery
  • No need to administer analgesics to the patients in the mesotherapy group.
  • Cons :minimal swelling was observed at the injection sites but any swelling present gets resolved completely and spontaneously within 48 h
  • Steroid injection. This may shrink but usually doesn’t fully remove the lipoma. They have anti-inflammatory properties .They are more suitable for larger lipomas and less effective for smaller ones that are deep.
  • Pros: Done in a clinical setting, requires less time , numbed prior and then given steroid injection.
  • Cons : They won’t eliminate the lipoma or prevent it from growing.

Lipoma Prevention Strategies

Prevention is better than cure. And here we are with some essential prevention strategies for Lipoma: BOX

1.Maintain a Healthy Weight

2. Stay Active: Engage in regular physical activity which burns these fat cells.

3. Stress Management: Relaxation exercises, mindfulness, or engaging in stress-reducing activities may contribute to overall well-being and reduce the chances of weight gain, which can increase the risk of developing fatty lumps.

4. Balanced Diet and hydration

5. Regular check ups and self examination: Periodically checking our body for any new swelling and promptly consulting a doctor.

Lipoma cannot be treated by exercise, diet, medicine but we can reduce their development by following these measures

FAQs

1. Do lipomas ever come back after removing surgically ? It is rare for lipomas to grow back after surgery. However, lipomas can grow in different spots on the body.

2. What causes lipomas? Cause of lipoma is unknown but it runs in the families

3. Can I prevent lipomas? Lipomas are inherited generally, passing through families hence not able to prevent them . But we can lower the risk of developing Madelung's disease which is a condition that causes lipomas to grow , by decreasing the amount of alcohol intake

Preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time with your doctor:

  • What caused this growth?
  • Is it cancer?
  • Do I need tests?
  • Will this lump always be there?
  • Can I have it removed?
  • What's involved in removing it? Are there risks?
  • Is it likely to return, or am I likely to get another?
  • Do you have any brochures or other resources I can have? What websites do you recommend?

Millions of people live with lipomas. They can be annoying and unsightly, but they don’t usually cause problems.

Most lipomas don’t need treatment. But if a lipoma causes pain or you’re concerned about its size or location, see your provider.

Usually, providers can remove lipomas during an outpatient procedure, which means you’ll probably go home the same day. Lipomas rarely grow back after they’ve been removed.

Key Takeaways

Lipomas are noncancerous fatty lumps that develop under your skin. They usually don’t require treatment

Lipomas are benign tumors. This means that there’s no chance that an existing lipoma will spread throughout the body. The condition will not spread through muscles or any other surrounding tissues, and it is not life threatening.

Lipoma surgery is usually a quick and simple procedure that can be performed with local anesthesia to numb the surrounding area.

See a healthcare professional for treatment if you have any concerns about getting rid of a lipoma.

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