A lipoma is a benign fatty lump that grows under the skin and usually does not cause any health problems. However, a lipoma can still be removed for cosmetic or functional reasons. The removal can be done through various methods, depending on the size and location of the lipoma. It is important, however, to consult with a qualified doctor to determine the best approach and minimise potential risks.
In this article, we will delve into the topic of 'lipoma removal' and discuss the different methods as well as possible complications.
The content has been reviewed for quality and accuracy to the best of our knowledge by Qunomedical and its Medical Board of Experts.
A lipoma in a patient's arm.
A lipoma in a patient's arm.
Lipoma Surgery Quick Details
15 - 30 minutes.
Close to 100%.
Takes a few days to a week to recover from the surgery and get back into your normal routine, including workouts. Make sure to speak to your doctor, as recovery times vary depending on your individual case.
POTENTIAL RISKS & SIDE EFFECTS
What Is Lipoma Removal Surgery?
A lipoma is an overgrowth of fat cells in your body. It usually appears as a soft lump, and most of the time does not have any associated symptoms or risks. In the majority of cases, lipomas are not removed since they are benign (non-cancerous).
They can occur anywhere on and inside your body, but are most commonly found on the neck, thighs and shoulders. Lipomas are usually quite small - between 2-3cm - but in rare cases can grow up to 10cm in size.
If the lipoma starts to become painful or exert pressure on an organ, causing associated symptoms, it should be removed.
How does Lipoma Removal Surgery work?
Although each lipoma must be considered individually and the removal process may vary slightly depending on the affected body part, there is a general treatment sequence that will look something like this:
Preparing for the surgery
The patient is prepared for surgery by undergoing a medical evaluation and discussing any medication they are currently taking.
The patient is given a local or general anesthesia, depending on the size and location of the lipoma, and the patient's overall health. If a general anesthesia is given, the patient needs to fast for a certain period of time prior to the procedure.
The surgeon makes a small incision over the lipoma, exposing the fatty tissue underneath.
The lipoma is removed from the surrounding tissue, usually by gently pushing and squeezing it out. In some cases, the surgeon may need to use a scalpel or scissors to remove the lipoma.
The incision is closed using sutures or staples, and a dressing is applied to the area to protect it from infection.
The patient is monitored in a recovery room for a period of time before being discharged. They may experience some pain, swelling, or bruising at the site of the surgery, but these symptoms should subside within a few days.
The patient is typically scheduled for a follow-up appointment to check on the healing process and ensure there are no complications.
What should I expect from this procedure?
After the procedure you can expect some mild pain, swelling, and bruising at the site of the incision, which should subside within a few days. You may also be instructed to keep the area clean and covered with a dressing for a period of time to promote healing and prevent infection. It's important to follow any post-operative care instructions provided by your doctor, such as avoiding strenuous activity or taking certain medication.
In general, a lipoma removal procedure is a safe and straightforward surgical procedure with minimal risk of complications. However, as with any surgical procedure, there are some risks involved, including bleeding, infection, or nerve damage. Be sure to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor before the procedure.