Lipoma is a benign, non-cancerous growth that usually appears as lumps under the skin. They grow up to one-quarter to 3 inches in size and can be widely dispersed or clustered together. They’re common but often harmless – with more than half of people older than age 60 having them.
The best lipoma treatment is to observe it. Small lipomas that do not change in size over time usually require no treatment at all, though you should have them checked every few years to ensure safety.
The following are the types of lipoma:
- Common Lipoma
- Pseudo Lipoma
- Solitary Fibrous Tumor
- Spindle Cell Lipoma
- Inflammatory Lipoma
- Juvenile Angiolipoma
- Infantile Myofibromatosis
- Atypical Lipomatous Tumor
When to Get Lipoma Surgery?
Lipomas can grow to enormous sizes and become uncomfortable, but they won’t pose a threat unless they metastasize or develop an infection, which is unusual. If you have a lipoma surgically removed, it will not come back, so this is the only way to “cure” it.
The most common time for people to decide that something needs to be done about their lipomas is when they start getting in the way of daily activities, such as putting on clothes or sleeping comfortably. Your doctor may suggest you visit a skin surgery center for surgical excision of the lipoma.
Lipoma Treatment Options
Many types of lipoma can be removed by surgery, while others do not require any form of treatment at all. The decision depends on the patient’s situation. Doctors will monitor patients with lipomas to check for any changes that might suggest the tumor is growing or becoming more problematic over time. In most cases, however, lipomas do not require any active treatment. In case your doctor recommends it for you, they may perform either of the treatment options include:
- Surgery (suction-assisted lipectomy)
- Radiation therapy
- Cryotherapy (freezing tissue using liquid nitrogen)
- Photodynamic Therapy
- Laser Therapy
- Emerging treatment options (namely two current clinical trials)
Moreover, several other medical treatments can help reduce symptoms, including:
- Anti-inflammatory medications because lipomas often develop as a result of inflammation. In some cases where inflammation or irritation is present due to the lipoma, surgery may be performed if other therapies do not reduce swelling and associated symptoms.
In the case of inflammatory lipoma, non-invasive treatments like pain medications and physical therapy may be recommended before surgery is considered to avoid interfering with vital tissues inside the body. They can also be treated to minimize side effects to improve the quality of life for patients without sacrificing too much function in affected areas.
Non-cancerous or benign tumors are typically removed if they appear at risk for growing, interfere with nearby organs or body parts, or cause inflammation when swelling occurs under the skin. Lipoma surgery or liposuction is typically preferred because it removes all visible signs of the tumor so that they cannot grow back after being removed. Removal methods vary depending on each patient’s circumstances and the type or types of lipoma present.
For other minor surgery services, visit Toronto Minor Surgeries Center for more info here.
Note: Overweight patients may lose weight, which has been shown to increase the effectiveness of surgical lipoma removal techniques.
If you have a lipoma and don’t feel it is causing any issue or harm to you, keep an eye on it for some more months before making your final decision. If it seems irrelevant for a year or more, then it’s probably not necessary for surgery.
However, lipoma surgery is an excellent option if:
- If you have a huge lipoma that causes discomfort
- It affects your ability to exercise or perform activities of daily living.
- It doesn’t shrink in response to “watchful waiting” over time.
- If your lipoma exhibits signs of regrowth when it is surgically removed
- If there is a strong or unpredictable likelihood that your lipoma will become cancerous
If you’re unsure, visit your doctor and request tests to see if everything looks good. Get another test done if it’s necessary.
If your doctor tells you that the lipoma has some pathology (something that might make it dangerous), they usually recommend surgery. If you need a reputable clinic for this procedure, Check out Toronto Minor Surgery. They offer a wide range of minor surgeries, including the TMSC keloid scar removal.