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Reader Question: Should I Have My Lipoma Removed?

Posted Jul 23 2009 12:00am

Reader Question:

I went to my doctor and was told I have a Lipoma? What is a Lipoma? Should I have it removed?

A lipoma is a noncancerous fatty tumor usually found in the fatty layer under the skin. They grow slowly and are usually no more than a nuisance; that is unless they have been growing for a while. They usually appear as a kinda soft lump under the skin.

As they grow, the displace and occupy the space of tissues around them (usually fat.) They can become quite large over the course of years. There is the other potential problem; namely that you can’t be 100% sure that your “lump” is a just a lipoma until you remove it and send it to the pathologist. Some lumps are cancerous.

The bottom line is that I usually recommend removal.

Try to have it removed while it is small so there is less of a “dent” and the surgery is usually pretty low key. Often small ones can be done in the office under local anesthesia. And consider sending the removed lump for pathology just so you know what it was.

Best Regards,

John Di Saia MD

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