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What is a lipoma?

A lipoma is a congregation of fat cells in a thin, fibrous capsule that usually develops just below the skin and over the underlying muscle. Lipomas do not typically require treatment because they are not cancerous growths, nor can they develop into cancer.

Why should lipomas be removed?

Removal of lipomas may be recommended if they become tender or painful, acquire infection, become inflamed repeatedly, interfere with the patient’s movement or function, or become enlarged.

What method is used in the removal of lipomas?

Surgical removal is used for most lipomas and can be done on an outpatient basis. The area around the lipoma will be numbed by injecting a local anesthetic. An incision will then be made, the lipoma removed, and then the incision will be closed with stitches. If the lipoma is too large to be done under local anesthesia you will be referred to a surgeon so the removal may be done in the operating room under general anesthesia.