Can Injection Therapy Be Used For Lipomas?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am a 27 year old male. I am in good shape and workout all the time. I have lipomas all over my body and have had four surgeries to remove them. I have always had excision. I now have near 100 scars and would like to figure out another option for myself. I have read about your practice and wondering if you could help. I have done a little research on fat dissolving injections. I would prefer not to have as many scars as I do now, but I know that surgery is the best option. So far I have had four surgeries and have removed about 90 small lipomas. I don’t understand why I get them as I am very healthy and in good shape. I exercise regularly and eat a well balanced diet. I would prefer the injections if you feel it is worth my time and money or a possible liposuction technique. I’m not against excision but would prefer no more scars. Thank you for getting back with me.

A: The condition that you have is known as familial lipomatosis. There is where someone, like you, develops recurrent and new subcutaneous lipomas all over their body. It has nothing to do with your weight, diet or exercise habits. It is a genetic condition where these lipomas develop and no one understands the cause and how to control it. All that can be done is selective removal of the most problematic lipomas. While surgical excision is the established and most definitive treatment for lipomas, it can certainly be taxing to undergo recurrent surgeries for them. Lipodissolve is a generic name for the injection of a known fat dissolving solution that contains phosphatidycholine, deoxycholic acid or various combinations of both. This is a compounding pharmacy injection not an FDA-approved drug. (although it is currently under current phase II clinical trials by Kyphera for neck fat reduction) This approach for fat reduction achieved notoriety in the mid-2000s when it was widely used across the U.S. for cosmetic body contouring and fat reduction. Its use collapsed when the company promoting it collapsed and the FDA stepped in and stopped its widespread use as an unregulated cosmetic treatment.

When it comes to the use of these injections for lipomas, I have used them in numerous patients with reasonable success. It does shrink them by fibrosis and scarring. It may take more than one injection session to get the maximal reduction. The lipomas may or may not regrow based on their original size and how much reduction is obtained.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana