What is a Lipoma Removal?
Lipoma removal is excising the lipoma surgically. The whole lesion should be removed, if not there is a chance of recurrence in the future. Removal is not needed always. Let us see how lipoma is diagnosed and what the treatment options are.
Doctors can diagnose lipoma usually with a complete history and physical examination. If your doctor thinks that is another lesion or any doubt if it is a malignant lesion then further investigations are needed.
Tissue Biopsy – sample of tissue will be removed from the lump and this sample is sent for histopathology. This can confirm whether it is a lipoma or any other benign condition or malignant condition.
Radiographic Investigations – ultrasound scan, MRI scan, CT scan. These investigations can also help to diagnose whether this is a lipoma or not. Also the size, shape consistency, site and involvement with other structures can be told from the radiological investigations.
Treatment for Lipomas
Conservative Management: If the diagnosis is lipoma and if it does not cause any symptoms you can leave it like that. Since it is not harmful you do not need to remove it. You can do regular checkups to see if there is any change in the lesion.
Steroid Injections: Steroid injections can be injected to the lipoma lesion and this will shrink the lipoma.
Lipoma Removal: Lipoma removal can be done for the following reasons
- Lipoma is large or its growing rapidly.
- It causes symptoms such as pain or discomfort.
- If the patient request surgery for cosmetic reasons.
- Interferes with normal body functions.
- If the doctor is unable to confirm it is a lipoma and has a doubt if it is another lesion.
Lipoma removal surgery only needs local anesthesia (medication to numb that area). Additional sedation may be required depending on the size and site of the lipoma. The surgery takes roughly about 30 minutes but this depends on the size, number of lipomas removing the method of removal. Usually this is one day procedure and within a few hours you can go home. Two ways to remove a lipoma
Liposuction: Small incision is made and using a needle and syringe the fatty tissue is drawn out. This is less invasive however cannot be sure if all the fatty tissue were removed.
Excision of the Lipoma: The skin in incised over the lipoma and the whole lesion is dissected. After the lipoma has been completely removed the incision is sutured.
After The Removal of Lipoma
- After the surgery you will be observed for few hours in the hospital if there are no complications you can go home.
- You can rest the day and can start with your work the next day.
- The tissue samples taken from the lump will be sent to the laboratory.
- You need to come to see the doctor in a few days or one week to see if the wound healing is good and if non-dissolving stiches were applied it should be cut.
- By that time the histology report will be ready and your doctor will explain about it as well.
Complications of Lipoma Removal Surgery
- Reaction to anesthesia
- Thicker or unusual scar
Lipoma is a benign condition and usually does not need removal. Conservative treatment is offered to many patients. Steroid injections can also be injected to shrink the lipoma. However you can remove the lipoma if it cause symptoms such as pain and discomfort, growing rapidly, interferes with normal functions, for cosmetic reasons or if your doctor has a doubt if this is a malignant lesion. Lipoma removal is a minor surgery done on local anesthesia and you can go home on the same day. It can be done in two methods liposuction is one method and in this method using a syringe and needle fatty tissues is drawn out. This is less invasive but cannot guarantee that all fatty tissue has been removed. The other method is excision of the lipoma by making a small incision and removing the lesion completely. Recurrence rate is reduced with this method.
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