Lipomas are tumors that form from fat cells. These common types of benign tumors are generally found on the back, arms, shoulders, stomach, thighs, and necks of people in all age groups. They are generally slow growing and can be seen on the surface of the skin. Lipomas are generally round in shape, have a soft composition, and can be moved around when touched. Sometimes these tumors are the result of genetics, and sometimes they are the result of an infection or an injury. Depending on where the tumors are located, they can get unsightly, painful, and uncomfortable. Minimally invasive surgery is a viable treatment to remove lipomas, especially if they appear suddenly, continue to grow in size, or constrict your movements in any manner.
Before the procedure, you will be given a local anesthesia. The surgeon will draw a circle around the area, or areas, where the tumors will be removed. The surgery site will be sterilized. For each tumor to be removed, the surgeon will make a small incision in order to get to the tumor. Using a clamp style tool, the tumor will be raised up to the surface where it will be cut away with a scalpel or surgical scissors. Once the surgeon is assured that all of the tumors has been removed, the area will be closed below the skin surface with a few sutures. A pressure block may be placed on the incision site for a while to prevent the formation of blood clots. Depending on the surgeon’s determination, the stitches may be the type to dissolve on their own, or they may need to be removed in a few days. The entire procedure will require between 30 minutes and one hour.
The removed tumor will be sent to a laboratory for analysis to ensure there is no malignancy. Before you are able to go home, you’ll be observed after the procedure to ensure there are no complications. The surgeon will instruct you on wound care, when you can return to your daily activities, and when to schedule a follow-up appointment to remove any stitches and to monitor your recovery.