Lipomas are usually benign. However, they are not going to disappear by themselves and will only grow if they are not taken out. Over time, a lipoma can get bigger and it may press on adjacent nerves and structures, causing pain and discomfort. Other than that being the reason to get the lipomas removal, a cosmetic concern is another principal reason to get it removed from the body.
There are various techniques used to remove lipomas. Liposuction being one of them. Yes, lipomas can be removed with this particular cosmetic surgery technique, but it is not the best or most preferred choice of treatment.
Liposuction is also known as lipoplasty. It is a type of cosmetic surgery performed to remove excess fat deposits in the body for the aesthetic purpose. Liposuction may be the right choice for you if you are concerned by excess fat deposits in your body that do not respond to diet and exercise. With lipomas, liposuction is occasionally used to remove the large sized lipomas. Small sized lipomas can be and are usually removed with just the direct excision technique.
Before you make a decision to choose liposuction to remove the lipomas, first take a look at how liposuction is done and also the advantages and disadvantages of it.
During the operation:
- Anesthesia will be administered to put you to sleep for your comfort. It could be local or general anesthesia depending on what the surgeon recommends
- Surgeon will then make an incision
- A cannula will be inserted through the incision. A cannula is a thin hollow tube and it is going to be motioned back and forth into the lipoma, controlled by the surgeon. This is done to loosen the fat deposits
- The loose fat is then sucked out using a surgical vacuum or syringe attached to the cannula
Before undergoing the liposuction, you will need to:
- Have a medical evaluation to make sure you are in good health
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Avoid ingesting anti-inflammatory drugs or drugs that can increase the chance of bleeding
- Quit smoking
- You will also need to sign a consent form to make sure you fully understand the procedure of liposuction and the potential complications.
- Fluid accumulation
- Nerve damage
- Blood vessel damage
- Thrombosis (blood clot in artery)
- Hematoma (blood pooling under the skin)
- To help with the potential swelling, a compression cloth or bandages may be used to cover the treatment area
- To remove excess blood or fluid, a temporary drain may be placed in the incision beneath the skin.
- You will be given specific instructions on how to care for the surgical site. You will also be given medications to apply and to take orally.
The swelling may take weeks to settle and to really appreciate the result of lipomas removal by liposuction, you may have to wait for months whilst maintaining overall a healthy lifestyle including balanced diet, regular exercise, and enough sleep.
Advantages of liposuction:
- Less scarring. The technique of liposuction for lipomas removal is more likely to leave smaller scar than the direct excision technique
- Usually, a patient may go home directly after the liposuction is completely done.
Disadvantages of liposuction:
- Recurrence of the lipomas. There is no faultless way to know if the entire tissues are completely removed, which can lead to the lipoma growing back
- Tissue diagnosis. With direct excision technique, surgeons are able to collect tissue samples to send and be examined for pathology. But with liposuction, it is very difficult to do so. Pathological diagnosis is important to find out more about the lipomas
- Cost. Liposuction costs are varied but it can reach up to ten of thousands of dollars. And it is not covered by health insurance because it is considered a cosmetic procedure. However, some surgeons may offer financial plans to the patients.
Combined liposuction and excision
There has been a clinical study on how to remove lipomas using combined liposuction and excision technique. The combined liposuction and excision technique facilitates complete removal of lipomas through small incisions.
Liposuction is used as an alternative technique to remove lipomas. Compared to direct excision technique, liposuction is not the best or even first choice because of concerns that the removal may be incomplete and recurrence may be frequent. Before deciding to go through the whole process, it is advised that you really discuss with your doctor and put an effort to find cosmetic surgery surgeon that is certified, trained and has solid experience in performing liposuction.