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Diagnosed with an intramuscular lipoma in the calf muscle. Should I go for surgery?

Jul 2012
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Practicing since : 1993
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my mother has been diagnoised with an intermuscual lipoma in the calf muscle (not on it, but in it). what are we looking at with surgery on this. the doctor has never seen one before. her surgery is Thursday of this week.
She had a ultra sound - did not find anything, only showed on Ct with contrast. Did not show cancer.
Posted Mon, 8 Oct 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Rodrigues 59 minutes later
Hi there. As i understand it, you are quite certain of the diagnosis & are clear that the condition is a benign one. You mention her surgery is scheduled for thursday next & i presume you are looking for some pointers on what to be prepared for & how best to approach the situation. At the outset, Relax,,,it does not appear to be a serious issue & the surgery per se should be 'excisional' in that the entire cyst with the sac will have to be removed & this should be pretty straight-forward & assume the surgeon will do it under CT-guidance. Having said that, i note that she has 'far too many medications & medical ailments' to list in your own words. Herein lies the challenge..more than the surgery per se, i encourage you to get a good physician's evaluation of the situation & clearance for the surgery. There may be need for her sugars to be under control & the judicious use of insulin et al.
I do hope this answers all your concerns & am pretty certain your mother is a tough cookie & will come out of this with flying colours. We do wish her well & hope the surgery et al go well as it should & she is soon back to top form! Cheers & Good Luck!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Diagnosed with an intramuscular lipoma in the calf muscle. Should I go for surgery? 4 minutes later
I have tried to find anything on intermuscular lipomas and I can not find anything. Is this a common occurance? The doctor said that he will have to remove part of the calf muscle with the lipoma. I also read that it could be a sarcoma. I'm talking about recovery of this procedure?
Answered by Dr. Praveen Rodrigues 15 minutes later
Hi there again.
Personally, if the lipoma is not bothering your mother & there is no undue morbidity & considering it is reported clearly as a benign lesion, I would not recommend going in for a surgery.
However, having said that, your surgeons/doctors there on the ground are best placed to make a judgement call on this.
You are is not a common occurence & if he says he will have to remove a part of the calf muscle with it, it may take longer to recuperate/rest/rehabitaitation. Ensure the facility is equipped with a good physiotherapy unit prior to the surgery as more oftne than not, the post-operative care & physiotherapy are all important. Given her age & the myriad of medical conditions, it will take a longer time for the recovery than the average person. It will also depend on your mother's mental make up & resolution & her desire for removal of the lesion or not.
It is a tough call & have tried to guide you into making an informed deciscion but in the end, these deciscions are best left in the hands of the treating doctors' at this stage. Cheers & trust this is as far as i can assist you.
Good luck once again & hope it all works out well for your mum! Cheers!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Diagnosed with an intramuscular lipoma in the calf muscle. Should I go for surgery? 4 minutes later
Can a lipoma be cancerous even if the Ct scan does not show its cancer?
Can she lose mobility by removing part of the muscle?
It is causing her pain and swelling of the leg, is this normal?
Are you an orthopedict doctor?
Answered by Dr. Praveen Rodrigues 10 hours later
Hey there.
Any benign tumor can get 'cancerous'..again cancer is an oft misused can be 'benign' or 'malignant'...usually lipoma is the former. Having said that, no-one can be 100% sure. Might i suggest a FNAC (fine needle aspiration cytology) to ascertain the same if not operating. If operating the histopathology will ascertain & is probably a better bet.
No she will not lose mobility but will be 'restricted' obviously given her age & medical condition & hence i strongly recommended physiotherapy to be instituted before & after the procedure.
If it is causing her pain & swelling of the leg, then yes it needs to be removed & as i said this is probably the reason your docs' suggested the surgery.
Nope am not an orthopaedic doctor but have had multiple sports injuries & work closely with a team in a major hospital at this end in a dedicated hospital for the same called HOSMAT & have frequently operated on lipomas as they are mostly in the subcutaneous tissues but yes we have encountered muscle based lipomas & they have not generally turned out malignant as a rule.
Cheers & trust have addressed each query lucidly one by one. Your procedure is slated for the morrow i trust. Wish your mother a speedy recovery & am sure all will go well. I understand your anxiety but sometimes, these things are not in our control & we all want the best for your mum...again, i take it she is of a strong mental constitution & at this age, that is half the battle. Reassure her & all will be smooth sailing. Good luck.
Dr Praveen Rodrigues MD
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