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Lipoma Removal

What Is A Lipoma?

A lipoma is a growth of fat cells in a thin, fibrous capsule usually found just below the skin. Lipomas are the most common non-cancerous (benign) soft tissue growth. It is usually not painful and grows slowly over time. They can appear anywhere on the body, but are most common on the back, trunk, arms, shoulders and neck. Lipomas are very common and appear most often between ages 40 and 60. The cause of lipomas is not completely understood, but the tendency to develop them may be inherited. It is possible that a minor injury may trigger the growth. Dr Adelyn Ho can help with a Lipoma Removal today!

Is A Lipoma Removal Necessary?

From a medical perspective, lipomas do not need to be removed  because most of them do not cause symptoms. If a lipoma is larger than 5 cm, Dr Adelyn Ho will order an imaging test, such as a MRI to rule out any malignant (cancerous) potential. A referral may be made to the Cancer Agency to be reviewed by an Oncologic Specialist to ensure that removal is safe. A Lipoma Removal can be performed at the doctor’s office or outpatient surgery centre. Local anesthetic is injected around the lipoma prior to removal which will allow for a painless procedure. The incision will be closed with stitches (sutures) placed under the skin that will dissolve. If the lipoma is in an area of the body that cannot be easily reached through a simple incision in the skin, the lipoma may need to be removed in the operating room under general anesthesia. Another method for improving the contour of a lipoma is liposuction, however, this will not remove the lipoma completely and the risk of it coming back is high. The benefit of liposuction is that this will leave a very small scar, rather than a long straight-scar that is seen when the lipoma is completely removed.

What To Expect After A Lipoma Removal?

There may be some discomfort to the surgical site after the local anesthetic wears off. There will be stitches under the skin that will dissolve. You will have steri-strips and a dressing over the incision that will come off after 1-2 weeks. You can shower after 24 hours and should refrain from high exertion exercise for 1-2 weeks. It is possible to have fluid that collects in the area where the lipoma was removed, although Dr Adelyn Ho will place internal stitches to try to decrease the volume of this space to minimize this risk.  The scar will continue to evolve and mature over time, and scar management will be discussed at your follow up appointment. To take the next step to have a Lipoma Removal is to request a consultation with Dr Adelyn Ho by calling our office at 604.273.1034 or by contacting us online to schedule an appointment.