Can Healthy Weight Loss Reduce a Lipoma?

Is it possible to reduce lipoma size via significant, sensible weight loss? In that they are comprised of fat cells, it seems to my medically and scientifically untrained mind, that the body would "use" or reabsorb fat cells in the event of significant, healthy weight loss.

I am vigorously exploring the possibility of a non-invasive way to rid myself of a fairly large lipoma on my upper back that has recurred. I posted yesterday also. Thank you for you time and expertise.

Doctor Answers (3)

Weight Loss No Help

+3

The cells that constitute a lipoma seem to be under a different control system than ordinary fat system. Weight loss does not seem to have much of an effect. There are reports of people who lost massive amounts of weight, starvation (diet or otherwise) losing some mass in a lipoma but for practical purposes weight loss will not have an influence.


Virginia Beach Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Fat cells, lipomas, and liposuction

+2

I would agree with the previous answer that fat cells in a lipoma are under different controls than normal fat cells and will not specifically respond to weight loss that shrinks other fat cells in the body.

Lipomas are a benign tumor of fat cells. They only cause problems because of their size and location but can be unsightly. Fortunately, in many cases, it is possible to treat them the same way liposuction treats other areas of unwanted fat cells. If you inherit an excess number of fat cells in certain areas they will increase or decrease in size with your weight but they won't go away. The number of fat cells and your proportion remains the same.

Liposuction removes them permanently with a minimum of scar and potential damage. For lipomas to be treated with liposuction, they must usually be below the skin (subcutaneous) rather than deeper or they need to be verified as lipomas (biopsy) and not some other type of tumor. Liposuction may not remove the entire lipoma, which is not a problem if the contour issue is resolved but would be a problem if the lipoma was actually a more serious type of tumor and residual tumor would lead to recurrence.

For small to medium size subcutaneous lipomas (not the large one in the picture), an extraction technique can be done that involves a liposuction-size incision and instrument/manual extraction rather than suction. For the lipoma in the picture, assuming it is a lipoma, I would recommend liposuction reduction/removal.

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Losing weight and the size of a large lipoma

+1

I have treated many lipomas of this size, and weight loss will likely not affect the dimensions of the lipoma in any signficant way. Surgery90210. Surgery is often the best option for removal. 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.