Would Injection Therapy Work For My Many Lipomas?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I’ve read the section with patient questions about lipomas and I have a similar case. I had surgery 3 years ago that removed the biggest lipomas from my body but I still have multiple smaller ones all over my arms, upper legs and back. Maybe 20 on my arms, 20 to 30 on my legs and 3 to 4 on my back ( half of them are the size of a walnut). I’ve read that a combination of injections and laser treatment would be the best approach in my case . I completely understand that it would be just an estimate (and multiple treatments might be required) but I would like to know at least what would be the general range. I would appreciate your help in this matter.

A:  While lipomas can be treated effectively by lipodissolve injection therapy and Smartlipo laser probe ablation, this approach is best used for a limited number of lipomas. This is because each lipoma so injected is associated with a significant inflammatory response (and pain) and will definitely require multiple treatments. When the lipomas number more than a handful, one is better off having an outpatient procedure where they are completely excised as this is simply more efficient and cost-effective….not to mention has less discomfort and an easier recovery compared to a  multi-stage non-excisional approach. I would only consider an injection approach in a limited number of them to bother determine their response and a patient’s tolerance for it.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana