Background Lipoma is the most common benign mesenchymal tumor composed of mature fat cells. The standard treatment for lipoma is excision. Many treatments have been described in order to minimize the scars produced by surgical excision. The treatment of lipoma using a subdermal laser produces an effective disruption of fat cells and results in a small scar.
Objective To evaluate the efficacy of subcutaneous intralesional application of a pulsed Nd:YAG laser as an option for the treatment of lipoma.
Methods From January 2001 to November 2007, 20 patients (11 women and nine men) with lipomas were treated using a subdermal, pulsed, 1064-nm Nd:YAG laser. After laser treatment, the oily solution, the product of laser action, was removed with a 2-mm cannula using a negative pressure of 350 mmHg. Histology and cytology of the treated tissue were used to analyze the effects of the laser on the fat cells. Ultrasound was performed in some subjects before and after laser treatment.
Results Subdermal lipoma treatment using a 1064-nm Nd:YAG laser resulted in complete or almost complete removal of the tumor in 100% of patients. Four partial relapses were observed that were treated successfully by the same procedure. Adverse effects were mild and temporary. The combination of a 1064-nm Nd:YAG laser and removal of the cell debris by a suction cannula presented an effective therapeutic option for patients with lipoma.
Conclusions The treatment of lipoma using a 1064-nm Nd:YAG laser is a minor invasive procedure which does not result in large scars. Laser treatment is an effective and safe option for cellular disruption.