A lump may often be a considerable cause for concern, especially if you are unsure whether it will present a long-term health issue if left to resolve itself. Thankfully, lipomas are rarely harmful.
“Lipomas are usually small, benign masses that do not typically need to be removed. A lipoma is a growth of fatty tissue that slowly develops under your skin, and it can occur across all age groups.”
– Dr Ganesh Ramalingam
While it is a relief to know that lipomas are primarily harmless, why do most people want to have them removed?
Today, we shall explore lipomas and any burning questions related to lipoma surgery that you may have.
What Is Lipoma Surgery?
Lipoma surgery is conducted in one of two ways, depending on the size of the lump.
Enucleation is performed if your lipoma is very small. In enucleation, our doctor removes the lipoma from the surrounding tissues via a small incision. The lipoma is then enucleated. As the incision is minimal, sutures are not required, and your wound is simply covered with a pressure dressing.
Excision is performed if your lipoma is large. In an excision, our doctor removes the lipoma and a margin of surrounding tissues via a larger incision over the lipoma.
He will start to dissect through the subcutaneous fat using a scalpel to reach the tumour underneath while avoiding the blood vessels and nerves in that area through the opening. The incision is later closed with sutures.
Is Lipoma Surgery Painful?
Lipomas are usually removed using local anaesthesia to numb the surgical area. While it is numbed, our doctor will perform the removal by cutting through the skin to access the tumour.
It is common to feel pressure on the lipoma, but you should not feel any pain during the procedure.
However, when the lipoma is very large or not easily accessible, the surgery may be performed in an operation theatre where you will be put under general anaesthesia.
Can I Remove a Lipoma on My Own?
A lipoma should never be removed on your own. A lipoma can form on any part of the body, but they typically appear on the:
In some regions, access to the lipoma can be difficult, and you do not want to risk cutting into the skin and damaging the surrounding tissues by accident. If you have a lipoma and are unsure how to deal with it, speak to a medical professional for advice.
Can Lipomas Come Back After Surgery?
Lipomas can sometimes grow back even after they have been surgically removed. While the cause for this is unknown, the most common way to treat a lipoma is to remove it through surgery in a complete manner.
This is especially helpful if you have a large skin tumour that is still growing.
How Long Does It Take to Recover From Lipoma Surgery?
Most people who undergo lipoma surgery can expect the wound to heal within two weeks of the procedure.
Depending on the location of the lipoma, patients are usually able to resume their daily activities within a day. However, you are advised to avoid strenuous activities that can cause the wound to re-open after being stitched.
Does Insurance Cover Lipoma Surgery?
Yes, it does. The medical advice for removal would include symptomatic lumps like pain, skin irritation, increase in size, or an unknown diagnosis.
However, your health matters, and if you would like to find out more about your financing options and costs of removing a lipoma, contact our clinic for comprehensive counselling and advice.
When Should I See a Doctor for Lipoma Surgery?
While a lipoma is usually harmless, it may grow in size and compress the nerves under the skin, resulting in discomfort and pain.
If your lipoma has changed in size or is starting to hurt, it is recommended for you to seek professional advice to diagnose your condition.
At the same time, contact our clinic immediately if you notice any change in your skin or the colour of the lipoma. Liposarcoma, a rare type of skin cancer, can sometimes be mistaken for lipoma due to its characteristics.
How Should I Take Care Of My Skin After Lipoma Surgery?
After removing the lipoma, it is common for our doctor to stitch the wound to prevent it from bleeding and reduce the risk of infection.
You may wash the area around the wound with soap and water and use a cotton swab to remove any dried blood or crust around the region.
You may also be given an antibiotic ointment to prevent the wound from getting infected.
If you observe signs of infection such as pus or swelling around the surgical site, contact our doctor for immediate medical attention.
Lipomas are benign growth that can be found anywhere on the body. While they are harmless, most people may opt to remove them due to medical reasons like an increase in size, discomfort, or not knowing what the lump is.
In some cases, a lipoma may also grow in size to the point where it compresses a nerve and can lead to pain when pressure is exerted on the lump. In this case, surgery is usually recommended to prevent the lipoma from affecting your lifestyle.
If you are bothered by your condition, schedule an assessment with our doctor to better understand how you can manage and treat your condition.
Contact us directly via WHATSAPP or call our CLINIC for assistance.