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Lipomas are small BENIGN fatty growths that can appear under the skin of almost any area of your body. The word “lipoma” literally means fat (“lip-“) tumor (“-oma”). Lipomas require removal when they become uncomfortable, painful, or unsightly. Lipoma removal is often performed as a minor office procedure under local anesthetic.

Larger lipomas may require outpatient surgery with sedation in an operating room. In either case, you will be able to go home on the same day following the procedure. The evaluation and removal of a lipoma is covered by health insurance.

FAQ Lipoma

    What causes lipomas?

    A lipoma is formed when a group of fat cells under your skin multiply rapidly and assemble into a benign tumor.

    Is a lipoma cancer?

    Lipomas are benign fatty growths. They are not cancerous. Cancerous fatty tumors, also known as liposarcomas, are treated very differently from lipomas. Liposarcomas are often painful and firmly anchored under the skin, whereas many lipomas are relatively painless, feel rubbery, and move easily under the skin.

    Who gets lipomas?

    Lipomas are idiopathic, meaning we don’t know exactly what causes them and why people get them.

    How are lipomas treated?

    Dr. Tanna will evaluate your lipoma to confirm the diagnosis and assess your treatment options. The evaluation could include imaging to determine the size, depth, and position of the lipoma. Some lipomas can be left alone and simply monitored, but they can also be surgically removed if they are painful, disfiguring, or interfere with your lifestyle.

    Lipoma removal can often be done as a minor office procedure under local anesthetic, but larger lipomas may require outpatient surgery with sedation in an operating room. In either case, you will be able to go home on the same day as the surgery. Dissolvable sutures are used to close the incision, and if the lipoma is very large, a drain may be placed.

    The following video shows the removal of a lipoma from the arm of a patient:

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