DEAR DR. ROACH: I have a large lipoma. I read that liposuction is an easy way to remove them. Is this true? — N.E.
ANSWER: A lipoma is a benign fatty tumor. They’re very common and usually removed only if cosmetically important. They can become so, especially when they get large.
The standard treatment is open surgical removal. Liposuction has been used successfully for the treatment of larger lipomas, but a recently published research paper maintains that further investigation is required before liposuction becomes an accepted option. I have seen occasional cases of lipomas that have required more extensive surgery than my patients were expecting, so a less-invasive option would be welcome.
Liposuction has been used routinely for treatment of gynecomastia (enlarged breast tissue) in men.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 69-year-old female with a few minor varicose veins. They don’t cause any symptoms; they’re just a little unsightly.