Lipomas are small soft swellings commonly found beneath the skin. Lipomas are usually painless. In most cases, they are accidentally detected while touching the area. In some individuals, they can be large and obvious from a distance. Some of us tend to get multiple lipoma over the body and face. This condition is known as lipomatosis. This may run in certain families. Lipomas are removed either to ascertain the diagnosis or because they are considered unsightly. Lipoma removal is usually an outpatient procedure. Patients can go back home after the surgery.
The traditional technique of removal of a lipoma is with open surgery. An incision placed on the skin is used to dissect the lipoma away from the surrounding tissues. The disadvantage of this technique is the resulting lengthy scar. There is a newer technique which can minimize the length of the scars. This is achieved by means of liposuction. During liposuction, the fat in the lipoma is aspirated with a small tube (cannula) attached to a suction producing device. The tiny cannula is inserted with the help of a small incision. The residual lipoma which remains after liposuction can be removed with the help of a small incision. This technique has significant cosmetic benefits because it leads to a short scar. Thus all scar-related consequences such as hypertrophy, color and texture changes of the overlying skin are minimized. Patients are later reviewed in the clinic. It is usual to have some induration at the operated site. This gradually subsides over the next few weeks. The recovery following this procedure is similar if not faster when compared to the traditional technique for removal of lipomas.
Liposuction for the removal of lipoma is a good option for those who want to get it removed with the help of very small incisions. It is especially recommended for individuals with multiple lipoma as the resulting length of the scars are less compared to the traditional open technique.
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