You’re likely seeking lipoma treatment options because you’ve just noticed this small lump that seems to have come out of nowhere.
A lipoma is a benign tumour that grows just under the skin. It is commonly found on the neck, upper arms or legs. They are usually non-cancerous, and only cause health issues if they become so big that they put pressure on surrounding nerves or blood vessels.
As lipomas are generally harmless, most individuals do not pursue lipoma treatment. However, if the lipoma lump is large, uncomfortable or painful in any way, then it may need to be removed.
The first course of action is to consult a doctor to ensure that the lump is benign. Your physician will conduct a physical exam and remove a small tissue sample from your lump for lab tests.
If the lab results confirm that the lump is not cancerous, your doctor will lay the various options to you.
One of the options is of course, to not do anything. Lipoma lumps are harmless. However, you might choose to seek treatment options anyway for cosmetic reasons.
Common lipoma treatment options
Removal: this is the most common method, and can usually be done in the surgeon’s office. An incision is made and the lump removed away from the surrounding skin and muscle. The cut is then sutured. As this option can result in scarring, sometimes even significant scarring, you might not wish to go down this road if your lipoma is near or on the face.
Liposuction: in this method, the fat cells in the lipoma lump are suctioned out. This is a good option if the lipoma is soft, and usually results in less scarring. The liposuction procedure is best done by a plastic surgeon. A hollow syringe is inserted into the lump, and then the fat tissue is sucked out. Liposuction is a popular method as it leaves virtually no scarring.
Steroid injections: This method is best for those who prefer to forego a surgical solution, and can be successful in shrinking large lipoma lumps. A steroid solution of appropriate strength is injected directly into the center of a lipoma. The solution is aimed at dissolving the fat tissue, and therefore begins shrinking the lump. For best results, the injections are repeated, either monthly or every two weeks until the lump is so small as to not be noticeable.