Lipoma Removal – Excision of Lipoma in Auckland NZ by Dr Mark Gittos Plastic Surgeon
What is a Lipoma Excision Procedure?
Lipoma excision procedure includes removal of bumps of fatty tissue that may be present anywhere on your body. Lipomas are soft to touch, as they are made of fatty tissue, and are completely benign, meaning that they are harmless. Sometimes they can cause an obstruction, especially if large, and in those cases, lipoma removal may be necessary.
Lipomas commonly develop on the upper back, shoulders, and abdomen. They are movable lumps that can form either right underneath the skin or deeper into the tissue and are called superficial lipomas and deep lipomas respectively. . Also, it is important to note that it is possible for you to have more than one lipoma on different parts of your body, at the same time.
Lipomas are a common, soft-tissue growth that doesn’t warrant any heath concern but can become a significant aesthetic problem. These bumps, especially the large ones, can be an eyesore if they are on a visible part of your body. You will be forced to hide them with clothing constantly and your clothing choices will become quite restricted.
Types of Lipomas
Lipomas are benign, painless, and easy to treat dermatological and cosmetic condition. There are many subtypes of lipomas including, but not limited to:
- Conventional Lipoma: A mass of white fatty tissue that is movable, soft to touch, benign, and painless. These are the characteristics of the typical lipoma.
- Angiolipomas: This subtype includes lipomas that are similar to the typical lipoma except for the fact that these are quite painful. These lipomas are made of fatty tissue and excessive blood vessels.
- Adenolipomas: These lipomas are masses of fatty tissue associated with a specific type of sweat glands called eccrine sweat glands.
- Hibernomas: They are a common variation of typical lipomas in which they are made of brown fatty tissue rather than white fatty tissue. Other features of the lipoma are the same as typical lipoma’s features.
- Fibrolipoma: These lipomas are not made of fatty tissue alone but also contain fibrous tissue.
- Superficial Subcutaneous Lipoma: This is the most common type of lipoma that develops just under the skin.
The lipomas can grow on any part of your body where there is fat tissue and if you are not happy with their appearance, no matter the type or size, you can undergo a lipoma excision procedure. Book a consultation now to see if that bump is a lipoma.
Am I a good candidate for Lipoma Excision Procedure?
Typical lipomas are painless and benign growths that you can have removed if you are bothered by their appearance. But there are a few things you must consider before you can go through with the lipoma excision procedure. You are all good to go for this procedure if:
- You are unhappy with the appearance of the lipoma
- The lipoma is quite large
- The lipoma is in a sensitive area of your body, like the groin, or in the folds of your skin
- The mass is a subtype of lipoma that causes pain
- You are physically and mentally healthy, apart from the presence of the lipoma
- You are a non-smoker
- You understand the potential risks and complications of the procedure
Undergoing a lipoma excision procedure can remove the lipoma but it is important for you to know that lipomas can recur, especially if the risk factors responsible for their development the first time around are not resolved and modified. You can prevent the growth of lipomas by exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and avoiding alcohol consumption.
Benefits of Lipoma Excision Procedure
Lipoma excision procedure is often done for cosmetic reasons more than medical reasons but the benefits of the procedure are both, cosmetic and medical. Removal of a large bump from underneath your skin can make your skin smooth and leveled again, giving you the freedom to wear tight clothes or show a little skin. No longer will you have to wear baggy clothes that hide your lipoma.
Having a lipoma in a prominent part of your body can affect your self-image and eventually, self-esteem. This is why it makes sense to undergo a lipoma excision procedure the results of which are guaranteed to give you the confidence boost you need.
Lipoma excision surgery can also have medical benefits, as lipomas sometimes can cause pain and numbness. When you undergo lipoma removal surgery, it can relieve you of your pain and significantly improve your ability to perform daily life activities without any limitations or pain. Similarly, if your lipoma is big, especially if it is bigger than 5 cm, and pressuring nerves, they can aggravate the pain. In this case, a lipoma excision procedure becomes necessary as it can remarkably improve your quality of life.
Book a consultation now to find out more about the benefits of the lipoma excision procedure.
Steps of Lipoma Excision Procedure
Lipoma excision procedure is performed as an outpatient procedure meaning that you will come in for your surgery appointment and leave the same day, just without the lipoma. The procedure is usually performed using local anesthesia only but sometimes general anesthesia may be used if the procedure is extensive.
Depending on the size of your lipoma, one of the two procedures may be used for your lipoma removal surgery:
For this procedure, your surgeon will make a small incision in the natural creases of your skin to ensure that the scar is easily hidden. After the initial incision, your surgeon will use a liposuction probe to suck the mass of fat and hence, remove the lipoma.
Although this procedure is usually preferred for small facial lipomas, it can be used for large-sized and medium-sized lipomas as well. The reason why it is preferred for facial lipomas is that the incision can be made away from the lipoma and the face rather than making an incision on the face that will leave behind a very visible scar.
There is a disadvantage to the procedure, however, that you need to discuss with your surgeon before you decide to undergo this method of lipoma excision. Using liposuction may result in some fat cells being left behind which could be an opportunity for recurrence of the lipoma.
The excision method is a surgical method to remove lipoma by making an incision on the lipoma to dissect it away. This is a relatively invasive method of removing a lipoma but it follows the same principle as the liposuction method by hiding the incision in natural creases and wrinkles of the skin.
After your surgeon makes the incision, a ‘popping and squeezing’ technique may be used to remove the mass of fatty tissue. It is necessary to remove the lipoma and its capsule completely to prevent recurrence of the lipoma. The dead space or the empty space left behind is sutured by the surgeon so as to not leave behind an empty cavity.
After the incisions are made and the lipoma has been removed, your surgeon will suture the incisions such that there is minimal scarring. This marks the end of your lipoma excision procedure and you can go home the same day.
Recovery from Lipoma Removal Procedure
Recovery from lipoma removal procedure is quite simple as the procedure itself, usually, isn’t that extensive. You will leave the hospital the same day as the procedure and in most cases, you can go to work immediately after the procedure or you can choose to rest for one day before heading back to work. You can perform your daily life activities with no problem whatsoever.
During the recovery period, you should be careful of the incision so as to not put any pressure on it which may complicate the wound healing process.
Risks and Complications of Lipoma Excision Procedure
Lipoma Excision Procedure is a relatively easy procedure but it is a surgical procedure nonetheless and just like any other surgical procedure, it has certain risks and complications associated with it. These include:
- Infection of the incision site
- Cellulitis and Fascitis
- Accumulation of blood under the skin or hematoma productions
- Nerve injury
- Muscle injury
- Injury to nearby vascular structures
- Fat embolus
- Excessive scarring
- Permanent deformity due to scarring
You should discuss these risks and complications with your surgeon in detail and assess how to avoid them before you make any decision regarding the lipoma excision procedure.
Your Lipoma Excision Journey
This is the first phase of your lipoma excision journey and it begins with the diagnosis of your lump as a lipoma. Your doctor will perform a physical examination to evaluate if you do have a lipoma or not. After the diagnosis has been made, you will be referred to a plastic surgeon to consult with and get the bump removed. Your surgeon will assess the lipoma and check if you meet the criteria to undergo a lipoma excision procedure. You may need to undergo medical imaging to see the closeness of the lipoma to neighboring structures as injury to them is a major complication of this procedure.
It is at this point that you should talk to your doctor about the techniques; both, surgical and non-surgical, for the removal of the lipoma and which technique is the best choice for you. You should also discuss the potential risks and side-effects that may occur after the surgery and how to manage them. Having this conversation during this stage ensures that the best results are achieved.
The procedure for lipoma removal is quite a simple and quick one that is often performed in the doctor’s office. The surgical procedure includes an incision made over the lipoma that allows the surgeon to remove the fatty tissue along with its fibrous capsule. After the lipoma has been removed, either using a ‘popping and squeezing’ method or a ‘pulling’ method, your surgeon will suture the empty cavity into itself to ensure that no space is left behind. Mini sutures are used to ensure that there is no visible and prominent scarring.
There are non-surgical, minimally invasive methods that can be used to remove your lipoma. One of the common minimally invasive techniques includes liposuction in which an incision is made in the area around the lipoma to use a liposuction probe and suck out the mass of fatty tissue. The best feature of this technique is that the incision for the procedure can be made further from the lipoma so that it can be easily hidden. It is often recommended if you have facial lipomas but the possibility of leaving behind fat cells makes this procedure not so favorable.
The location of your lipoma and your expectations from the surgery can help determine which technique is the best fit for you.
The recovery period is the last phase of your lipoma excision journey and is quite an easy phase. You should make sure to care for the incisions and not put any pressure on them as that could complicate the healing process. But apart from that, you can resume your usual life activities the same day, or the day after the procedure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the lipoma procedure painful?
- Lipoma procedure is performed under local anesthesia meaning that you won’t experience any pain during the procedure. If the healing process is not complicated by an infection or strenuous physical activity, then the recovery period is also going to pain-free for you.
Will lipoma grow back?
- Since lipomas mostly develop due to genetic conditions, there is a probability of lipoma recurrence, especially if the excision was not done properly and residual fat cells were left behind. Risk factors like obesity and high alcohol consumptions, if not modified, can also result in the recurrence of lipomas.
Further Medical Reading
Why Choose Dr. Mark Gittos?
Dr. Mark Gittos is a highly skilled and well-trained specialist plastic surgeon with many years of experience with Lipoma Removal. Having received extensive training in New Zealand, France, the USA, and the UK, he approaches each surgery with state-of-the-art tools and innovative techniques.