Lipoma is a benign, non-cancerous growth that usually appears as lumps under the skin. They range from one-quarter to 3 inches in size and maybe 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. Lipomas that are small and 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. There are many types of a lipoma as follows:
- 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 large sizes and become uncomfortable, but they won’t pose a threat unless they metastasize or develop an infection, which is very rare. 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 recommend a plastic surgeon who performs surgical excision of the lipoma in these cases. Just make sure that the surgeon you pick is an expert in these kinds of procedures, like this cyst removal in Toronto clinic, if you’re nearby.
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)
In addition, 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.
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 a couple more months before doing anything. If it seems irrelevant for a year or more, then it’s probably not necessary for surgery.
If you’re in doubt, visit your doctor and request some tests to see if everything is fine. The best option is to keep an eye on it and 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), surgery is usually recommended. But this kind of surgery doesn’t remove the possibility of another lipoma growing again in another area. If you need a reputable clinic for this procedure, Check out Toronto Minor Surgery. They offer expert minor surgeries in the area, including the Toronto Minor Surgery Center basal cell carcinoma surgery.