Surgical Lipoma Removal
Lipomas are fatty lumps, situated between the skin and the muscles. They are susceptible to growth almost anywhere on the body, from the scalp, down to the ankles. Lipomas are very common in the upper body. In some cases, you may even have multiple lipomas. Lipomas are often painless, classified as benign growths, but also have the potential to become painful or bothersome. Lipomas removal and lipoma treatment is performed surgically under local anaesthetic and with minimal scarring.
Is it worth undergoing lipoma treatment?
If your lipoma is small, singular, and painless, you may choose not to have it removed. But a lipoma in an uncomfortable or visible area or multiple lipomas can cause physical and mental discomfort, often impacting on daily life, and affecting your confidence. It is not possible for a lipoma to dissolve by itself, therefore you should not wait for it to disappear on its own. Once a lipoma has developed, lipoma treatment is recommended before they get bigger. It is advised to not let your lipoma reach bigger sizes as a small lipoma can be removed via surgical removal with minimal scarring.
Can I undergo lipoma removal without surgery?
Lipoma treatment is a very common procedure that is used to remove lipomas from the body. Lipomas are non-cancerous growths that are composed of fat cells and connective tissue. They can occur anywhere in the body but most frequently appear in the arms, legs and abdomen. These growths are not typically painful or harmful and do not require treatment unless they grow large enough to interfere with normal functioning or cause physical discomfort.
Complete surgical excision is an effective approach for lipoma treatment. It is often performed under local anaesthetic via a small, minimally invasive incision. The lipoma is gently removed from its position, ensuring it is removed whole where possible. This reduces the possibility of it returning once removed. In cases where a lipoma is large, surgery might be done under general anaesthetic. Larger lipomas mean larger surgical scars. To ensure minimal scarring, it is recommended that lipomas are removed whilst they are relatively small. You can reach our team through our contact page.
Multiple lipoma removal is also done under local anaesthetic. Separate incisions are made to each lump for complete surgical removal. Depending on their proximity, multiple lipomas can be removed from a single incision, if deemed possible.
It is wise to opt for surgical lipoma removal once the lump is visibly detected, in attempts to identify anything unusual. Though rare, lipomas can often be misdiagnosed for liposarcomas: a cancer of fat cells. To exclude liposarcoma, histopathology is performed on the mass once it is surgically removed.
How long does it take for lipoma treatment to heal?
Lipoma treatment is a procedure that can be done in a variety of ways. It may be done with local anesthesia or general anesthesia, and the doctor will choose which method is best for you. The surgery itself takes about half an hour, but you’ll have to plan for two hours of recovery time.
After the lipoma is successfully removed, the incision is closed using sutures and covered with a semi-waterproof plaster. Some sutures are non-dissolvable, these need to be removed after 7-10 days. Whilst the sutures remain, it is important to keep the wound dry and covered, and pause strenuous exercise to ensure the wound heals effectively with a minimal scar appearance. Otherwise, you are able to return to your normal activities and work. Complete lipoma removal recovery ranges from 2-6 weeks.
How painful is lipoma surgery?
Lipoma treatment surgery is a painless procedure. It is performed under local anaesthetic, your awake but feel no pain, whereby the area is entirely numbed allowing for pain-free surgery. Pain after surgery is also minimal.
What can happen if I delay lipoma treatment?
Lipomas that are left untreated will continue to grow. In most cases, lipomas can be surgically removed via surgical excision under local anaesthetic: this is usually when the lipoma is of a small to medium size. However, if the lipoma is very large, it can infiltrate into the muscle and cannot be fully removed under local anaesthetic. Therefore, to avoid great growth and complex surgery, it is always best to have a lipoma removed whilst it is still of small to medium size. Our team is dedicated to the removal of lipomas and have over 10years experience in this field.
Can my GP undertake lipoma removal?
Your NHS GP may recommend leaving your lipoma untreated if it is asymptomatic. Although a small-sized lipoma may not cause discomfort, this is when surgery is best performed. This is because the lipoma is localised superficially to enclosing tissue, meaning it can be removed with minimal scarring. The deeper a lipoma sits in the subcutaneous layer, the greater the surgical intervention. Do not wait, or delay surgery based on a small asymptomatic fatty lump as it can escalate.
Is it a cyst or a lipoma?
Cysts and lipomas are often misdiagnosed for one another, rightfully so as they are both lumps. However, there are a few characteristics that can help you distinguish between a cyst and lipoma.
Cysts are often small, firm lumps, whereas lipomas are typically larger, mobile, and rubbery at touch. Cysts are susceptible to infection, often displaying redness. They can also have a little discharge hole, serving as an escape for pus from active infections. Lipomas cannot get infected; therefore, they remain smooth and skin-coloured.