What is Lipoma Excision?

Lipomas are the adipose tumors that usually occur in the subcutaneous tissues of the head, neck, shoulders and back. These slow-growing, almost always benign, tumors typically present as non-painful, round, mobile masses with a characteristic soft, doughy feel. Lipomas can rarely be linked with syndromes such as hereditary multiple lipomatosis, adiposis dolorosa, Gardner\’s syndrome and Madelung\’s disease.

Effects of Lipoma Excision

The outcome and prognosis of lipoma excision are excellent for benign lipomas. Although recurrence is rare, it may still happen if excision is incomplete.

Candidates for Lipoma Excision

Lipomas are not selective of any age group but these usually first appear between 40 and 60 years of age. It is not generally necessary to treat a lipoma unless it is in a bothersome location, is painful or is growing, your doctor possibly will suggest that it be removed.

Your Consultation

Prior to surgery, it is often helpful to draw an outline of the lipoma and a planned skin excision with a marker on the skin surface. The outline of the tumor often facilitates to define margins, which can be hidden after administration of the anesthetic. Excision of some skin helps to get rid of redundancy at closure.

The skin is then cleansed with povidone iodine or chlorhexidine solution, making sure to prevent wiping away the skin markings. The area is covered with sterile towels. Local anesthesia is administered with 1 or 2 percent lidocaine with epinephrine, more often than not as a field block. Putting the anesthetic in the subcutaneous area surrounding the operative field creates a field block.

The Lipoma Excision Procedure

There are multiple surgical techniques that can treat lipomas. The simple surgical excision involves marking the palpable borders on the skin before infiltrating with anesthesia. Then the skin down to the lipoma capsule will be incised and dissected to free the mass from the surrounding tissue. After obtaining hemostasis, the dead space will be closed using buried absorbable sutures. The excess skin will then be removed, the wound closed, and a pressure dressing will be applied for 24 hours to prevent hematoma or seroma formation.

Recovery

Before putting new bandages, it is important to apply a non-prescription antibiotic ointment to the wound first. You may use non-prescription drugs (such as acetaminophen) for minor pain. Anticipate complete healing without complications and allow approximately 3 weeks for recovery from surgery.

Risks

Infection and calcification (hardening) can happen in a stable pressure area or movement area. It rarely causes a fatal condition by complicating the functioning of the lungs.

Lipomas can arise in the breast, liver, digestive organs, oesophagus, etc., developing symptoms according to the situation. Adiposis dolorosa or dercum’s disease is an extraordinary condition characterized by multiple painful lipomas. Lipomas may rarely go through sarcomatous changes to cause liposarcoma.

FAQs

What are lipomas?

Lipomas are adipose tumors that generally occur in the subcutaneous tissues. These are slow-growing and almost always benign. The majority of lipomas are asymptomatic, can be diagnosed with clinical examination and do not necessitate treatment. These tumors may also be found in deeper tissues such as the intermuscular septa, the abdominal organs, the oral cavity, the internal auditory canal, the cerebellopontine angle and the thorax.

What causes lipomas?

Heredity is not really a factor in the development of lipomas. A number of doctors believe that a minor injury may provoke their growth. There is also a weak correlation of lipoma incidence in overweight patients, although not enough studies could support this case.

Where do lipomas usually occur?

Lipoma can take place anywhere in the body. The common sites are fat depositing areas like nape of the neck, shoulder, back, trunk, buttocks, hips, thighs, arms, forearms and belly. Most of lipoma is subcutaneous, but it can also happen in deeper tissues like subserous (liver, lungs, heart, etc.), subsynovial (joints), submucous (oral, oesophagus, etc), subperitoneal (inside abdomen), intramuscular, etc.

What are the symptoms of lipomas?

Lipomas are usually small [0.4 in.(1 cm) to 1.2 in.(3 cm)] and felt just under the skin; are movable and have a soft, rubbery consistency; do not cause pain; and remain the same size over years or grow very slowly. Oftentimes, the most bothersome symptom is the location or increased size that makes the lipoma noticeable by others.

Is it necessary to treat lipomas?

Most of the time, treatment of a lipoma is not needed, unless the tumor becomes painful or limits movement. A lot of people have it removed for cosmetic reasons. On the other hand, if the capsule of the lipoma is not entirely removed during the surgery, it may grow back.

What are the treatment options for lipomas?

A lipoma may be eradicated by simple excision, but liposuction is another option that usually results in less scarring if the lipoma is soft and has a small connective tissue component. However, liposuction has a greater tendency to not remove the entire lipoma, which often results in regrowth.

Do lipomas ever turn cancerous?

The simple answer is no. One medical reference source states “Lipomas may rarely undergo sarcomatous change (that is – change into a type of cancer). However, the event has never been convincingly documented.” It is very rare if it does happen.