At a Glance
A lipoma is a soft tissue that grows as lumps beneath the skin. They usually aren’t painful, are soft to touch, and can sometimes move around. These are not to be confused with osteomas, which is a lump that is bone instead of soft tissue.
Lipomas usually cause no pain, which is why many people choose not to give them due importance. However, there are situations in which a lipoma can completely change the visual appearance of a person, thus making them feel less confident in themselves. This is the greatest benefit of having the lipoma removed – the patient can have his or her body aspect improved.
Before undergoing lipoma removal, it is important to understand the potential side effects. While side effects are rare, this is a surgical procedure and there is still the rare chance of them occurring. Some rare side effects include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Fluid or blood accumulation under the skin
- Infection in the surgical wound
- Deformity (in the case of large lipomas)
- Muscle irritation
Your surgeon will be able to advise steps you can follow to ensure you avoid any negative side effects.
While lipomas are not harmful, they can often be aesthetically unpleasant, and a person will wish to have it removed.
If you have a lump that is painful, red, hot and not moving, it is important that you see your doctor, as this may not be a lipoma.
Lipomas are usually removed in a professional medical centre and through a surgical procedure. This procedure does not take long (several minutes to be more exact) and it is mostly painless due to the local anaesthesia that is injected into the area where the unpleasant body fat is located. Then, an incision is performed in the skin to have the fat cells growth removed and then it is closed with stitches. In case the lipoma is located in a more difficult-to-reach part of the body, general anaesthesia may be required.
The recovery period usually only takes a few days, however, this will vary from person to person. Most people who undergo lipoma removal will experience a fast recovery. However, it is still recommended to avoid any strenuous activities for up to two weeks after the removal. It is also best to discuss medications you are taking with your doctor, in order to avoid any complications during the recovery period.
Will lipoma removal hurt?The removal will be performed under local anaesthetic, so you will feel minimum pain and discomfort.
Will I have a scar?After the removal, you may have a scar, however, this will be small and will fade over time.
Do I need to remove the lipoma?Lipomas are harmless, so there is no requirement to have them removed. However, some people feel it damages their aesthetics, and decreases their self-esteem, and therefore elect to remove the lipoma.