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Old August 17th, 2007, 09:51 AM
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Dr Lee Dr Lee is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bay Area California
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Originally Posted by mummummum View Post
Questions for Dr. Lee:

>are there any alternatives to surgery to reduce or eliminate the giant lipoma (my grrrl Bridie also has one and it spoils her grrrlish figure !).
> how is the surgery done ? Is it liposuction or by sectioning it out with a laser or or or ?
There are some cases where pets have lipomas that are associated with being overweight. In those cases if the pet gets back to a normal weight, the lipomas may reduce to a more manageable size. In the case of 'giant lipomas' this is rarely the case though. And then surgery is the only option.

How does the surgery work? Actually very easily. They typically are just under the skin, they have minimal attachements, minimal blood supplies, easy to remove. Typically I will incise over the mass with the laser, expose the fatty mass (it looks exactly how you would probably imagine - like a smooth roundish, yellow, glistening blob of fat), manually shell it out (they almost just fall out much of the time), and then comes the difficult part - closing. The only difficulty with lipomas is the closing as there is a lot of space that you don't want to fill back up with blood (hematoma) and there is a lot of extra skin. So about 90% of the surgical time is closing - carefully tacking the skin down, removing excess skin and if needed, placing a drain.

The wonderful thing about these surgeries is that they are typically very low on the pain score. There is the skin incision, some manipulation of tissues and some inflammation where the sutures are placed. There is rarely muscle incising; you are often not close to nerves, etc...

Hope that helps
Christopher A. Lee, D.V.M., C.V.L.S.
Promoting surgical options and pet comfort through the use of lasers.
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