Lipomas: Deoxycholic Acid (Kybella®) Can Shrink Tumors Before Removal Interview with:

Hooman Khorasani, M.D. Cosmetic Surgeon & Mohs Skin Cancer Surgeon Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai

Dr. Khorasani

Hooman Khorasani, M.D.
Cosmetic Surgeon & Mohs Skin Cancer Surgeon
Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai What is the background for this study?

Response: Lipomas are tumors composed of mature fat cells located just beneath the skin surface. They are the most common soft tissue tumor and are estimated to occur in 1% of the population. These benign tumors are more common in overweight individuals, diabetics, patients with elevated serum cholesterol, and those suffering from familial multiple lipomatosis. Most of these tumors are treated for cosmetic reasons; however, large lipomas can also cause significant functional impairment. Traditional treatment includes surgical removal and / or liposuction.

Deoxycholic acid is a member of the bile acid family that assists in the breakdown of fat. We investigated the use of deoxycholic acid injections to reduce the size of large lipomas prior to surgical removal. What are the main findings? 

Response: We successfully managed large lipomas with two pre-operative deoxycholic acid injections (Kybella®) followed by surgical removal. The deoxycholic acid injections reduced the tumor size by approximately 50%. This decrease in size reduced the risk of scarring and other surgical complications. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: For patients suffering from a lipoma due to aesthetic or functional impairment, deoxycholic acid injections may help reduce the size of the tumor prior to surgical removal. This is important for patients who are scar conscientious, as a smaller tumor allows for a reduced surgical incision. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: In the future, we recommend investigations of different dosing regiments of deoxycholic acid to determine if higher doses, increased frequency of injections, or longer duration of treatment may yield increased reduction in lipoma size prior to surgical removal. Additional studies investigating the safety profile of deoxycholic acid for lipoma management are also warranted. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Management of a lipoma is determined on a case-by-case basis. Discussions with your physician regarding benefits and risks of treatment with deoxycholic acid are important prior to initiating therapy. 


AAD abstract: 2019

Intralesional deoxycholic acid as neoadjuvant treatment of a large lipoma

[wysija_form id=”3″]





The information on is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.


Last Updated on March 5, 2019 by Marie Benz MD FAAD