Background Surgical extirpation of lipomas that occur in cosmetically conspicuous areas of the body leaves a visible scar that is usually disfiguring. Minimal-scar segmental extraction (MSE) employs a much smaller incision and extraction and is particularly useful in exposed parts of the body. It can be easily performed in an office setting.
Objective The objective of this study was to evaluate the merits of MSE in clinical practice. Unlike other reports in the literature that describe, anecdotally, minimally invasive methods of lipoma removal, our study examined a new method by carefully measuring the results in a larger group of consecutive patients treated using this technique.
Materials and Methods A retrospective study was performed using data from 91 consecutive patients with a total of 122 lipomas that were treated using MSE. MSE of lipomas consists of a small stab incision and blind dissection of the tumor followed by its extraction in a segmental fashion. This procedure involves small instrumentation, minimal dissection with preservation of contour, and complete removal of the lipoma, including substantial portions of the capsule. Clinical data, including complications, outcomes, and recurrence rates, were recorded.
Results The procedure was well tolerated by patients, who were pleased with the results, particularly the small scar. The incidence of complications was 1.6% (n= 2) and consisted of hematoma (n= 1) and seroma (n= 1). The recurrence rate was 0.8% (n= 1). No long-term morbidity was noted.
Conclusions The technical ease with which the MSE can be performed, coupled with a low recurrence rate, makes it a very cost-effective operation. The smaller postoperative scars, rapid healing, and low morbidity allow for better patient acceptance. We recognize the advantages and limitations of this procedure and encourage its use in selected patients.
RAJIV Y. CHANDAWARKAR, MD, PEDRO RODRIGUEZ, MD, JOHN ROUSSALIS, MD, AND M. DEVIPRASAD TANTRI, MD, HAVE INDICATED NO SIGNIFICANT INTEREST WITH COMMERCIAL SUPPORTERS.