Injectable Lipoma Treatment

Q: I have numerous small lipomas on my forearms and legs. How effective is lipossolve on these?

A: Lipomas are benign fat tumors that develop for unknown reasons. It is common that one may eventually develop one or two lipomas over their lifetime. Usually they are small and can develop anywhere from the scalp down to the legs. I have never seen them in the hands or feet, probably because there is very little fat there. They are harmless but sometimes they can be uncomfortable. Rarely, a patient may present with multiple and newly developing lipomas at several different areas of the body. This is known as a condition of familial lipomatosis in which the patient will continue to develop many (dozens to hundreds of lipomas) throughout their lifetime.

Lipomas are easy to remove surgically and they can literally ‘pop out’ through a small incision. But they will leave a small scar from the incision and, at the least, require a local anesthetic for removal. Depending on where they are located and how big they are, they may require more than just a local anesthetic. If there is only one or two, then surgical removal is reasonable. When one has many, surgery becomes more arduous and less appealing. Liposuction is not an option for lipomas.

There is no proven or FDA-approved method of injectable lipoma treatment. The chemical concoction, known as Lipodissolve, has had widespread use for injectable fat reduction for cosmetic purposes over the past decade. Because it is intended for fat lipolysis (dissolving), it is no surprise that it has been reported to be used for the non-surgical treatment of lipomas. It is simple and quick to do and, in my limited experience of a handful of patients, has been effective. It may require more than one injection to make the lipoma go away but most of the time it will work. There will be the typical swelling of the injection site for a week or so after treatment.

Potential patients needs to understand that neither the solution or treatment method have ever been through formal FDA testing and evaluation. Reports of its use and effectiveness for lipomas are anectodal, not scientifically proven.

Dr. Barry Eppley