American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
3 years ago

Lipoma removal options

I have 2 abdominal lipomas - confirmed via ultrasound. One has become quite large, approximately regulation football size (below ribs, left side). The other is significantly smaller, below ribs, right side.

How would/should a lipoma be removed? I've spoken to my dermatologist about it, but his answer was, honestly, kind of disturbing.

Also, I'm severely overweight, but the lipoma feels worse.

Procedure: Liposuction
Location: Penn, PA

Replies 5

Tracy McCall
ASPS Surgeon

If you want the removal covered by your insurance you would have an excision. This is a pretty straight-forward procedure. Often, it can be done under local. Yes, plastic surgeons do this, but so do general surgeons.

Samir Shureih

Lipoma of the size described, football size, need a full workup . Ct scan, MRI, to determine the extent of the lipoma and if other structures are involved.

After which The proper specialty or specialties can make the proper treatment plan.

Nelson Castillo

Thank you for sharing your question. In most cases lipomas are best treated by direct surgical excision of the masses. Hope this helps.

Michelle Copeland
ASPS Surgeon
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Thank you for sharing. In order to provide my patients with the most desirable results, I use techniques that include liposuction combined with direct excision through the same incision to remove residual lipomatous tissue to ensure the lipoma is completely removed. This technique not only minimizes scarring but reduces recovery time. The combination of liposuction and excision is a safe alternative for lipoma removal and recurrence is uncommon following this outpatient procedure. You can read more about this procedure in my article (Combined Liposuction and Excision of Lipomas: Long-Term Evaluation of a Large Sample of Patients ( Libby R. Copeland-Halperin,1 Vincenza Pimpinella,2 and Michelle Copeland3).

I suggest making an appointment with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options.

Lori Cherup
ASPS Surgeon

Mike- it is true that lipomas grow larger in obese patients. However, a large lipoma presents a concern for a focus of malignant lipoma cells that must be eliminated. I know- my husband had one. You need to see a reconstructive plastic surgeon and get your lipomas removed; the large one will involve some skin excision also to give a normal contour.

The big picture is- why do you want to continue to live your life unhappy with your obesity? Consult your PCP, and get a referral for a bariatric surgery evaluation. Bigger universities have good programs. Get a consult, and weigh the options, pros and cons. And get your lipoma removed.


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