Lipoma Removal Surgery
A lipoma is a common, noncancerous growth of fatty tissue cells. While these lumps are usually harmless and can occur anywhere on the body, they might become bothersome because of their size or location. This is the reason why you might consider a lipoma removal surgery.
Lipoma removal surgery is a standard procedure often recommended; however, it’s not a decision to be made lightly. Understanding what the surgery entails, the benefits, potential risks, and recovery process, can help you make an informed decision.
Anca Breahna is a highly qualified and experienced Consultant Plastic Surgeon with expertise in Lipoma removal surgery. She regularly performs different types of surgical and non-surgical procedures to help her patients achieve the aesthetic results they desire.
What Is Lipoma Removal Surgery?
Lipoma removal surgery is a medical procedure performed to remove one or more lipomas from your body. A lipoma is a soft, rubbery bulge that arises from fat cells. They’re usually slow-growing and located just under the skin. Although lipomas are benign, they can become uncomfortable or unsightly.
This surgery is an outpatient procedure, meaning you’ll likely go home the same day. Anca Breahna performs lipoma removal surgery using a local anaesthetic to numb the area around the lipoma. After the procedure, the removed lipomas are often sent to a laboratory for analysis to confirm that they are noncancerous.
Who Needs Lipoma Removal Surgery?
Not everyone with a lipoma needs to have it removed. As mentioned before, lipomas are benign growths that do not turn into cancer. Therefore, if your lipoma isn’t causing any discomfort or cosmetic concern, your doctor may simply recommend keeping an eye on it.
However, you might be a candidate for lipoma removal surgery if your lipoma:
- Causes pain or discomfort
- Is growing quickly
- Is in an area that is causing functional impairment or cosmetic concern
- Is pressing against nerves or other structures, causing problems
Anca will help you weigh the potential benefits and risks of surgery to decide if it’s the right choice for you. It’s also important to discuss your overall health, as certain conditions may impact your eligibility for surgery.
Benefits of Lipoma Removal Surgery
There are several benefits to undergoing lipoma removal surgery. For one, it provides a definitive way to remove lipomas that are bothersome or causing discomfort. The procedure can alleviate any pain or discomfort associated with the lipoma, especially if it is pressing against nerves or other structures in the body.
Another key benefit is that once a lipoma is removed, it is typically gone for good. Although lipomas can reoccur, it’s not common for them to return in the same location.
Lastly, removing and analysing the lipoma can provide peace of mind, as it confirms the growth is indeed benign.
Types of Lipoma Removal Procedures
There are a few different ways Anca can remove a lipoma. The type of procedure often depends on the size and location of the lipoma, as well as your overall health.
- Surgical Excision: This is the most common type of lipoma removal. Under local anaesthesia, Anca will make an incision in your skin, remove the lipoma, and then close the wound with stitches. This method is most effective for larger lipomas and those that have grown into deeper layers of skin
- Liposuction: This procedure involves suctioning out the lipoma using a thin, hollow needle. It is often used for larger lipomas and has the advantage of smaller scars. However, it may not remove all of the lipoma cells, which can potentially lead to regrowth
- Steroid Injections: While not a surgical removal, this method shrinks the lipoma but doesn’t completely remove it. Steroid injections can be an option for smaller lipomas, especially in areas where surgical scars need to be avoided
- Laser Surgery: This method uses a medical laser to break down and remove the fatty tissue in the lipoma. The procedure may be performed under local or general anaesthesia
Each type of procedure has its pros and cons. It’s essential to discuss with Anca the best option for your specific situation.
How Is Lipoma Removal Surgery Performed?
The procedure for removing a lipoma depends on the method chosen. Here’s a brief outline of what each technique entails:
- Surgical Excision: This is often performed in a hospital or surgical centre under local anaesthesia. Anca will make a small incision over the site of the lipoma and dissect it away from the surrounding tissues. Once removed, the wound is then stitched closed. This procedure takes less than an hour, depending on the size and number of lipomas to be removed
- Liposuction: For liposuction, Anca will make a small incision and insert a thin, hollow tube called a cannula. The other end of the cannula is attached to a machine that generates a strong vacuum. Anca will move the cannula back and forth through the lipoma to break up the fat cells, which are then sucked out of your body
It’s important to remember that the exact method used for your lipoma removal may vary based on your specific situation and the surgeon’s expertise.
Recovery after Lipoma Removal Surgery
Recovering from lipoma removal surgery is a straightforward process, but it varies depending on the individual’s general health, the type of surgery performed, and the size and location of the lipoma. Here is a more detailed look into the recovery process after lipoma removal surgery.
Immediate Post-Operative Care
- Wound Care: The surgical area will be covered with a bandage to keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection. Anca will instruct you on how to care for your wound at home. This usually involves changing the dressing regularly and observing the wound for signs of infection such as increased redness, swelling, or discharge
- Pain Management: It’s normal to experience some discomfort and pain in the area where the lipoma was removed. Anca will likely prescribe pain medication to manage this. It’s important to take the medication as directed
- Ice Packs: You may use ice packs to help reduce swelling and alleviate pain. Typically, the ice pack should be wrapped in a towel and applied to the area for 15 minutes at a time, several times a day
Daily Activities and Limitations
- Rest: Rest is an important part of the recovery process. You should take it easy for the first few days following your surgery. Avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting, which can strain the incision site and slow down the healing process
- Physical Activity: After the initial few days, gradually reintroduce physical activity into your routine. Light walking is often encouraged to promote blood circulation. However, avoid high-impact activities until Anca gives the go-ahead
- Hygiene: Showering may be restricted for the first few days to keep the surgical area dry. Anca will let you know when you can resume normal bathing routines
- Stitch Removal: If you have non-absorbable stitches, they’ll need to be removed by Anca and her nurses usually one to two weeks after the surgery
- Monitoring Healing Process: It’s important to monitor the wound for any signs of infection or complications. If you notice any unusual symptoms such as increased pain, redness, swelling, or discharge, contact your surgeon immediately
- Surgeon’s Visits: Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments so your plastic surgeon can monitor your healing process. This is a good time to discuss any concerns or questions you may have about your recovery
Risks of Lipoma Removal Surgery
While lipoma removal surgery is safe and effective, like any surgical procedure, it carries some risks. These include:
- Infection: In rare cases, the wound from the surgery may become infected. Symptoms of infection include redness, swelling, and increased pain at the incision site
- Bleeding: There is always a risk of bleeding with any surgical procedure. Your plastic surgeon will take steps to minimise this risk
- Scarring: While surgeons try to make incisions in the least noticeable areas, any surgical procedure will leave some scarring. The size and visibility of the scar will depend on the size and location of the lipoma and the type of removal method used
- Nerve damage: Although rare, there is a risk that a nerve could be damaged during the procedure, particularly if the lipoma is located near nerves
- Recurrence: Although rare, lipomas can sometimes grow back after removal, especially if any part of the lipoma was left behind during the surgery
As with any surgical procedure, it’s important to weigh the benefits against the potential risks and discuss them thoroughly with Anca Breahna. By making an informed decision, you can ensure the best possible outcome from your lipoma removal surgery.
Medical References about Lipoma Removal Surgery
- Lipoma – Mayo Clinic
- Lipoma: What Is It, Causes, Symptoms, Types, Treatment – Cleveland Clinic
- Lipoma Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis – WebMD
- Lipoma – NCBI
- Lipoma – NHS
At a glance
Local or General Anaesthesia
A few days
Frequently asked questions
Is lipoma removal surgery painful?
The surgery itself is usually not painful because it is performed under local anaesthesia. You may feel a slight pressure or movement during the procedure, but not pain. After the procedure, any discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter or prescription pain medication.
How long does it take to recover from lipoma removal surgery?
The recovery time from lipoma removal surgery depends on the size and location of the lipoma and the type of removal procedure used. However, most people can return to their normal activities within a few days to a week. Full recovery often takes one to two weeks.
Will a lipoma grow back after removal?
It is rare for a lipoma to grow back after removal. It can happen, particularly if any part of the lipoma was left behind during surgery. If you notice a lump forming in the same area where the lipoma was removed, it’s important to notify your medical team.
What will the scar look like after lipoma removal surgery?
The size and appearance of the scar after lipoma removal surgery will depend on several factors, including the size and location of the lipoma, the type of removal procedure used, and individual healing factors. While all surgical procedures will leave some type of scar, Anca usually tries to place the incisions in less noticeable areas or follow natural skin lines.
Can I prevent lipomas from forming?
There is no known way to prevent lipomas as they are often linked to genetics or occur spontaneously. Maintaining a healthy weight and regular exercise can improve overall skin health and body function. If you notice a new lump or an existing one starts to grow or cause discomfort, it’s important to have it checked by a surgeon.
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