Are There Any New Methods For Getting Rid Of Lipomas?

Q: I have approximately 30 lipomas on my arms that range from a large pea to an almond to a large marble.  On my rib cages and abdomen are about a dozen the size of walnuts, and on my legs there are too many to count and of the same various sizes. I am a 45 y.o. female that has always taken pride in eating healthy and being overweight no more than 5 to 10 pounds. I was physically very active, an avid runner, and love to mountain hike. In the past two years the lipomas have erupted in such great quantities all over my body that my life has changed and taken away much of the life that I enjoy. I know that these lipomas can be cut out but that would leave so many scars that it would be horrible and maybe just as bad as the original problem. Are there any new methods for lipoma removal that would not leave so much scarring?

A: With so many lipomas, you obviously have the condition of familial lipomastosis. While you have many now, this suggests that there are more to come in the future. Besides excision (cutting them out), there are not any other conclusively proven methods of lipoma removal. However, I have found some success with both Lipodissolve injections and spot Laser Liposuction (Smartlipo) treatments. Lipodissolve injections cause an inflammatory reactions within the lipoma that causes it to shrink. Most of the time, it takes more than one injection session to get ti to go completely away. Laser liposuction treatment uses the tip of the laser probe to melt the lipoma. Through a small stab incision, the probe is inserted into the lipoma and it is turned on until the lipoma begins to melt.

With so many lipomas, I suspect that the combination of excision, Lipodissolve injections, and laser probe treatments may be needed based on their size and location. Given the multiple locations, all of this could be done in a single outpatient procedure done under general anesthesia. That would be the most comfortable way to treat all of them in a single setting.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana