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What is the treatment for multiple lipomas?

Answered by: Prof Suneet Sood

Consultant Surgeon, Malaysia

Q. I am a 42 years old male taking medicine for high triglycerides for the last four years. It has been found that there are many cysts in my body. I consulted many doctors and they said if it is not hurting, I don't need to bother about it and even if the cysts are removed, they may grow again, so surgery is not a solution. I work-out five days a week and have got a lean body. Six months back, I found a cyst in my left arm near my triceps muscle and now there is pain in my left hand (elbow and upper portion). How can it be managed?

A.  From your description you have multiple lipomas or similar soft-tissue swellings in the body. These swellings sometimes look scary, but are harmless. If you wish to get them removed, it is fun for the doctor, who will make money in proportion to the number of swellings he or she removes. Even if a doctor removes all the swellings they will recur after some years. The right treatment is: first, consult a good doctor, and confirm that these are harmless swellings, not cancer. Then, take a second opinion to confirm that these are harmless swellings, not cancer. If second and more opinions have confirmed that you do not need removal of these swellings, leave them alone.

A swelling needs to be removed if a. the doctors says it looks like a cancer, b. it is growing rapidly in size, c. if it is cosmetically troublesome (e.g. swellings on the face), or d. if it is causing pain. I understand that at least one of the swellings is causing pain. Check with your doctor. If the doctor says that removal of the swelling will relieve the pain, get it removed. Be prepared: removal of the swelling may or may not relieve your pain, but will certainly relieve your anxiety!

A.  From your description you have multiple lipomas or similar soft-tissue swellings in the body. These swellings sometimes look scary, but are harmless. If you wish to get them removed, it is fun for the doctor, who will make money in proportion to the number of swellings he or she removes. Even if a doctor removes all the swellings they will recur after some years. The right treatment is: first, consult a good doctor, and confirm that these are harmless swellings, not cancer. Then, take a second opinion to confirm that these are harmless swellings, not cancer. If second and more opinions have confirmed that you do not need removal of these swellings, leave them alone.

A swelling needs to be removed if a. the doctors says it looks like a cancer, b. it is growing rapidly in size, c. if it is cosmetically troublesome (e.g. swellings on the face), or d. if it is causing pain. I understand that at least one of the swellings is causing pain. Check with your doctor. If the doctor says that removal of the swelling will relieve the pain, get it removed. Be prepared: removal of the swelling may or may not relieve your pain, but will certainly relieve your anxiety!

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