A lipoma is a benign lump under the skin composed of fatty tissue, nerve endings, and hair follicle roots. These things come together to form a lipoma in the subcutaneous layer, which is the innermost layer of the skin. Sometimes it can go deeper than that. Lipomas are generally harmless; it is extremely rare for them to develop from benign to malignant. Although a lipoma can be found on any body part with a layer of fat, common areas include the neck, upper arms, thighs, forearms, armpits, back, stomach, and forehead.
Do you have a lump under your skin? Is it irritating you? If yes, you might have a lipoma. A lipoma is a non-cancerous collection of fatty tissues. It is usually harmless but can become a cosmetic issue. If you want to have your lipoma removed, our surgeons are here for you. They are board-certified plastic surgeons with over 15,000 combined successful surgeries under their belts and boast solid and successful careers.
Appearance: Oval lumps just under the skin and are usually soft to the touch and movable
Size: Relatively small (less than 5 cm)
Colour: Same as the skin; may appear slightly reddish at times
Location: Anywhere on the body
Additional symptoms: Generally painless except in cases where they are affecting joints, organs, nerves, or blood vessels
There are still no known reasons for the development of lipomas. They are not preventable, and there are no symptoms that can tell you whether you might develop a lipoma in the future or not. Although lipomas usually develop in adulthood, their causes are unclear to doctors. It’s possible that hereditary conditions may lead to a development of lipomas. These conditions include:
There has been some correlation found between physical injuries and the development of lipomas, but a direct link between the two is controversial.
TMSC’s board certified surgeons use local anesthesia and treat lipomas through direct surgical excision, which consists of a direct incision over the lipoma, a surgical extraction of the lipoma, and finally the stitching of skin. Local anesthetic is used to numb the area during the procedure.
A lipoma is non-cancerous, and you don’t have to remove it unless it presents with a cosmetic problem. A cosmetic problem means that it is on the exposed skin and does not look good. Primarily, dermatologists or plastic surgeons remove lipomas under local anesthesia. A local anesthetic is injected into the skin near the lipoma. It numbs the area and lets the surgeon remove it without inducing pain. Local anesthesia does not put you to sleep. You will be awake throughout the procedure. When you come to our surgeon for your initial checkup, they will check the lipoma and the surrounding area. If they feel that the lipoma is big enough, they might schedule you to receive sedation during the procedure.
Our surgeons perform lipoma removal surgery if the lipoma is disturbing you. It usually happens if you feel pain in the area or for aesthetic reasons. Do not confuse lipoma, which is benign, with liposarcoma, a malignant tumour of the adipose tissue. The non-cancerous lipoma can occur anywhere on the body, e.g. thighs, chest, arms, armpits, neck, shoulders, and more. Studies have observed that men between the ages of 40 and 60 develop lipomas more than anyone else. When you come to TMSC for a lipoma removal surgery, our surgeon will numb the area and then surgically cut the lipoma. If there is fluid in the lipoma, the surgeons will squeeze the content out.
The most common way to remove a lipoma permanently is through surgery. That is where our board-certified plastic surgeons come in. They surgically removes the lipoma from the root. Typically, one of our surgeons performs the procedure under local anesthesia, but they might choose general anesthesia depending on the location and lipoma size. Their primary concern is the patient’s comfort and for them to not feel any pain through the procedure. They might make a small incision near the lipoma to remove the fat or use the incision and squeeze technique. Afterwards, they will close the incision with a stitch or two. Once they remove everything and clean up the site, the surgeon puts bandages on the site. Unless the lipoma is too large, you will not need any drains put in.
When you come to TMSC to surgically remove the lipoma, you stop it from getting any bigger. When our surgeon removes the lipoma, they confirm that there is nothing cancerous about the growth. Also, after the lipoma removal surgery, you will feel more confident about your appearance and more comfortable in your skin. You won’t have to put up with the unnecessary pain and discomfort.
Just like any surgery, lipoma removal surgery has the risk of infection or irritation. There will be a scar, albeit a tiny one, on the location of the lipoma. Our surgeons perform all their surgeries in a way that minimizes scars. They also inform you about the aftercare of the wound so the scar wouldn’t be too unsightly and disappears quickly. Sometimes a lipoma recurs after its removal.
There is minimal downtime after a lipoma removal surgery. There might be some discomfort, but it will not be for long. The discomfort lasts for a couple of days after the procedure, but it doesn’t stop performing your normal activities. Depending on the location of the lipoma, our surgeon might ask you to wait for a couple of weeks before going back to your routine.
Usually the size of the incision is ½ to ⅔ as compared to the lipoma being operated on. Some lipomas need larger incisions if they are securely attached to neighbouring tissues. However, our surgeons ensure that the scar is as small as possible as we understand and respect our patients’ desire to minimize scarring, and therefore take great care to ensure that your results are optimal. We also use scar management gels after surgery.
Our surgeons are highly trained and experienced professionals who care deeply about their patients. Rest assured all of our procedures are carried out with the utmost care, precision, regard for aesthetics, and in a safe environment.
If the lipoma, or any other type of growth, is not cancerous, why should you want to remove it? The answer is simple. Even though some growths are benign, they can affect your blood vessels, nerves, and joints if they keep on growing. If the lipomas are deeper than the subcutaneous layer, they could cause various complications like bleeding and obstruction. As they keep on growing, the difficulties keep increasing. They may be in a spot where they could put pressure on an organ.
It is never a good idea to tackle any type of growth at home. You run the risk of injuring yourself, excessive bleeding, and scarring. Always go to a board-certified plastic surgeon for any removal procedures. The same is true for lipoma removal. When you come to TMSC, our surgeon will advise you on whether to have your lipoma surgically removed or take another course of action.
Lipoma removal surgery has very few risks. It is an outpatient procedure, and you won’t have to stay overnight at the facility. Our surgeons ensure the safety of their patients at all times and have been very successful. Since it is a surgery, you might have some scarring, bruising and rarely might develop an infection. Our surgeon goes over these things with you during your initial consultation.
Although lipoma removal surgeries produce permanent results, there is still the possibility that a lipoma recurs or a new one forms near the previous one’s location. If the lipoma is large, the chances of recurrence grow.
The lipoma removal surgery is not painful at all. Our board-certified plastic surgeon will give you local anesthesia to numb the area before the surgery. You might feel a little pressure, but no pain. If your lipoma is extensive, the surgeon might advise general anesthesia.