Lipoma excision is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of a lipoma. It is the most common type of soft tissue tumor. Lipoma is a benign tumor which is predominantly composed of body fat.
What part of the body does Lipoma Excision involve?
A Lipoma excision involves the skin and underlying tissues, typically on the back, arms, and legs.
Why is the lipoma excision surgical procedure performed?
A Lipoma excision procedure is performed for the following reasons:
- Improve visual appearance (for cosmetic reasons)
- If the benign tumor is an “annoyance”
- In some cases, a diagnosis of lipoma needs to be confirmed. Removal of the lump (lipoma) for a definitive diagnosis is sometimes necessary, to ensure that the lump is not a type of tumor
- In rare cases, for the prevention of cancer, such as liposarcoma, which can arise with longstanding lipomas
What are some alternative choices for lipoma excision?
Alternative choices to surgical lipoma excision include:
When do you need a second opinion before the lipoma excision?
- It is normal for a patient to feel uncomfortable and confused with a sudden inflow of information regarding Lipoma excision surgical procedure and what needs to be done
- If the patient needs further reassurance or a second opinion, a physician will almost always assist in recommending another physician
- Also, if the procedure involves multiple surgeries or has many alternatives, the patient may take a second opinion to understand and choose the best one. They can also choose to approach another physician independently
How is the Lipoma Excision surgical procedure performed?
- The Lipoma excision procedure is carried out under local anesthesia
- Smaller lipomas are removed by enucleation, while larger lipomas are excised
- In enucleation, the surgeon makes a small incision on the skin overlying the lipoma. Using an instrument called a curette (shaped like a thin rod with a small scoop/gouge at the end) the surgeon separates the lipoma growth from the adjacent normal tissue and removes it completely. After this, a pressure dressing is applied over the small wound
- In order to remove larger lipomas, the surgeon makes a couple of incisions on the skin overlying the tumor. While applying pressure (a pull) to the flap of skin made by the incisions, the surgeon cuts out the lipoma from the adjacent tissue carefully. Once the tumor has been removed, the resulting tissue space is closed using absorbable suture material (these sutures need not be removed at a later stage) and the skin is closed using non-absorbable sutures
What preparations are needed prior to the lipoma excision?
- The doctor may evaluate the individual’s medical history to gain a comprehensive knowledge of the overall health status of the patient including information related to the medications that are being currently taken
- Some medications increase a person’s chances of bleeding and it may be recommended to discontinue them for a period of time, before the lipoma excision is performed
- Blood tests may be performed to determine, if there is a bleeding tendency or any other medical conditions that prevents the person from undergoing the procedure
- Do inform the doctor if the patient is allergic to any local anesthetics, lidocaine, etc.
- Avoid application of any cosmetics, deodorant, or topical medicines on the area, before the lipoma excision
- It is advisable to quit smoking and the use of any nicotine-based products, for a while, before the surgery
- Consumption of alcoholic drinks must also be avoided for a period of time, as instructed
- The patient must avoid eating or drinking at least 8 hours prior to the surgical procedure, depending on when the procedure is arranged
- For people suffering from diabetes, it is important that the blood sugar stays within the normal range if not their diabetologist may have to control blood sugar by recommending insulin or a combination of oral medicines
What tests are needed, before the Lipoma Removal surgical procedure?
Before a Lipoma Removal procedure, the patient has to undergo certain tests, such as:
- Routine blood and urine analysis
- Imaging modality, if the doctor deems it necessary