What Are the Different Types of Lipoma Surgery?

Lipomas are comprised of fatty cells, and appear most often on the neck, upper legs, torso and upper arm.
A scalpel is a small, sharp knife that is used for performing surgeries.
The lipoma tumor may be biopsied to rule out cancer before it is fully removed.
There are three common types of lipoma surgery.
A doctor will recommend the type of surgery necessary depending on the location and type of the patient's lipoma tumor.
The type of lipoma surgery performed depends on the needs of each patient.
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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 24 October 2015
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There are three basic types of lipoma surgery available when surgical intervention becomes necessary, and they consist of liposuction, enucleation, and excision. Liposuction is a type of cosmetic surgery that can be used to remove some growths, although it may not be possible to remove the entire growth with this type of procedure. Enucleation may be used in some cases to remove very small lipomas with minimal scarring. Excision is the most frequently used type of lipoma surgery and involves the removal of the entire tumor. Any questions or concerns about the best type of lipoma surgery in an individual situation should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Liposuction can be a useful form of lipoma surgery in some cases where these tumors are present. This method of treatment is particularly important when the affected area is located on a portion of the body where large scars should be avoided. A local anesthetic, such as diluted lidocaine, generally provides adequate pain control for this type of office procedure.


Enucleation is a type of lipoma surgery that may be used to remove very small lipomas. For this procedure, a very small incision is made just over the tumor. A small surgical tool known as a curette is placed inside the incision and gently moved around so that the tumor is carefully separated from any surrounding tissue. Stitches are not typically necessary with this type of minimally invasive lipoma surgery, and a special type of pressure gauze is usually placed over the surgical wound to help prevent the formation of blood clots.

The most common type of lipoma surgery is excision surgery. A local anesthetic is typically used to numb the affected area, although general anesthesia may occasionally be used, depending on the size and location of the tumor as well as the overall health of the patient. A type of surgical knife known as a scalpel is then used to make an incision through the skin as well as any surrounding fatty tissue. This is considered to be a somewhat delicate operation, as it is important for the surgeon to avoid accidentally cutting into any of the surrounding nerves or blood vessels.

Complications from lipoma surgery are rare, although any problems should be reported to a doctor for further medical evaluation. Skin infections are among the most commonly reported complications and can usually be treated with prescription antibiotics if caught early. Rarely, muscles or nerves may be damaged during the procedure, sometimes requiring additional surgeries to repair the damage.


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Post 1

There is a lipoma on my back (left side) over my ribs, the size of an apple. I am to have it removed in five days. Can I insist on lyposuction and a local? I am 70 years old, take no medications. I get elevated blood pressure readings when I become agitated. Hospitals agitate me.

I am terrified of anesthesia complications. I called the hospital today to speak with the anethesiologist. One will not be assigned until late Monday afternoon. I am losing sleep over this.

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