Is There Anything New For Removing Lipomas?

Q: I have multiple lipomas over my arms and legs. Is there anything new to having them removed?

A: The standard treatment for lipomas remains excisional, making a small incision over the lipoma and pushing it out. While effective, this does result in a very small skin scar. While this approach is fine for several or even up to ten or so lipomas, it is tedious and results in many fine scars.

An alternative non-surgical approach is Lipodissolve injections. A needle is used to inject each lipoma with about a .5ml solution of phosphatidylcholine and deoxycholic acid. This is a fat dissolving solution that will shrink the size of the lipoma and in some cases get rid of it completely. Usually, however, it takes more than one injection to be assured of its complete eradication. If you are seeking a truly non-surgical approach, these injections are a treatment to be considered as long as one understands that more than one injection may be needed for maximal results.

Another ‘minimally-invasive’ approach is spot laser treatment. Using a Smartlipo (laser liposuction) fiberoptic probe, a nick is made in the skin and the probe is inserted next to or into the lipoma, it is turned on and used to heat up the lipoma until it is melted or destroyed. Like excision, this does require a local anesthetic.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana