Seeking lipoma removal?
Lipomas are common, benign tumours of fat cells that grow beneath the skin. Usually round or oval in shape, ranging from a few millimetres to several centimetres, they are soft with a doughy or rubbery texture. Lipomas can be pressed or pinched without discomfort and move readily under the skin.
Lipomas are normally not painful unless they develop in a sensitive location, such as the armpit or groin. They can also be unsightly, especially if they are large or in a visible area.
Lipomas are common in Singapore, affecting about 1 in every thousand persons. They are slightly more prevalent in males than females and often occur between the fourth to sixth decades of life. Lipomas have no known cause but may run in families or be triggered by injuries or trauma and may also be associated with obesity, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes mellitus.
Lipomas are usually harmless. However, there are some reasons why you may want to consider lipoma removal, such as:
Surgical excision is the most common and effective technique for lipoma removal.
Standard elliptical or lenticular excision involves making an incision over the lipoma, cutting it out completely and stitching up the wound. Surgical excision gives good visibility, resulting in more complete lipoma removal and low recurrence risk. However, it may cause infection, bleeding, or nerve damage, and often results in a large linear scar that is more prone to widening or hypertrophic / keloid changes.
The desire to reduce surgical scarring and morbidity led to the development of more advanced methods such as minimal excision extraction. This involves making a much smaller incision and squeezing or manoeuvring out the lipoma through the opening. While this results in less scarring and faster healing than standard excision, it is more technically challenging, takes longer to do, may not remove the entire lipoma and may result in increased recurrence or hematoma formation. Furthermore, the minimum size of the incision is still limited as it has to be big enough for the lipoma to squeeze through.
Liposuction lipoma removal involves breaking up the lipoma (sometimes with a laser fibre) and suctioning out the fatty tissue using a thin, hollow tube called a cannula. This technique is less invasive than excision, requiring smaller incisions and thus less scarring. However, it may not remove the entire lipoma and may result in contour irregularities, skin damage, and higher recurrence risk.
Different kinds of injections can be used for lipoma removal, depending on the size, location, and type of the lipoma:
While lipoma removal injections do not usually result in scarring, recurrence rates are high since the lipoma is not actually physically removed.
Lipomas, benign fatty lumps that often appear beneath the skin, can be a cause of concern for many individuals. At 1Aesthetics, we are dedicated to providing the best solutions for lipoma removal while prioritizing patient satisfaction and long-term results, and our goal is to constantly explore innovative techniques that reduce scarring, minimize recurrence rates, and improve the overall patient experience.
Traditionally, the gold standard for lipoma removal has been surgical excision. This technique ensures more complete removal of the lipoma, significantly reducing the risk of recurrence. However, traditional excision comes with a downside - the resulting disfiguring scar and potential complications.
As a doctor who focuses on medical aesthetics, Dr Wan is always mindful of the impact of surgery on a patient's aesthetic appearance and is continuously seeking ways to strike a balance between effective lipoma removal and preserving a patient's confidence in their appearance.
One such technique that shows promise is minimal incision extraction. This method seeks to improve on traditional excision by using smaller incisions. Although it can result in a less noticeable scar, it can be time-consuming and technically challenging. Additionally, the size of the lipoma still limits the incision size. For larger lipomas, modifications to the technique are necessary.
Liposuction, another option for lipoma removal, involves much smaller incisions, solely to permit the passage of the liposuction cannula, a thin, hollow tube that suctions out the fat. This technique offers the advantage of reduced scarring compared to traditional excision. However, it is essential to note that the recurrence rate tends to be higher with liposuction, and the specialized equipment required can increase the overall cost.
Another approach gaining attention is lipoma removal through injections. This technique avoids scarring, which is a significant concern for many patients. However, it's essential to understand that lipoma removal injections do not physically remove the lipoma, leading to a higher recurrence rate.
As a forward-thinking medical professional, Dr Wan is dedicated to searching for innovative ways to push the boundaries of lipoma removal procedures and achieve the best possible outcomes for patients. He is constantly contemplating new approaches, such as hidden incisions, combining injections with surgery or modifying surgical techniques, to optimize outcomes.
FOUNDER / MEDICAL DIRECTOR
Yes, in many cases, your general practitioner (GP) can remove a lipoma. However, whether your GP can perform the procedure depends on various factors, including the size, location, and complexity of the lipoma.
GPs may be able to remove lipomas that are small, easily accessible, and not located in a sensitive area but not all GPs will be equipped with the right skill set to achieve an aesthetically pleasing outcome. For example, most GPs have no training in plastic surgical suturing techniques. Furthermore, they may not be familiar with more advanced lipoma removal techniques, or have access to the necessary equipment/medications to minimize or deal with complications such as keloid scarring.
When considering lipoma removal, it's essential for patients to be aware of the costs involved. Lipoma removal costs can range from less than a thousand to a few thousand dollars, depending on the size of the lipoma, the chosen medical aesthetic method, and the complexity of the procedure. While cost is a valid consideration, it is vital to understand that investing in more advanced methods can lead to superior aesthetic outcomes and increased patient satisfaction. Additionally, by reducing the chances of complications, such as keloid scarring, which may require more time and effort to address later, these advanced techniques can ultimately prove to be cost-effective in the long run.