Lipoma removal is a very safe minor surgical procedure that's generally done as outpatient surgery. The key risks associated with this treatment are those associated with any minor surgical procedure, most notably, a small risk of infection and a chance of scarring or other cosmetic issues. The risk of complications increases slightly for lipomas that are located in areas of the body that make surgery difficult. Other techniques for dealing with lipomas are also very safe but may not succeed in completely treating the condition.
Human bodies are prone to develop odd growths and concentrations of cells. Lipomas are among the most common and least dangerous of these. They are almost always made up of benign and harmless fatty cells. They typically grow slowly and pose little serious risk. They can be uncomfortable or embarrassing, however. Fortunately, their removal is generally a very simple process.
Usually, a doctor will employ minor surgery for lipoma removal. This involves cleaning the skin above the lipoma, followed by the administration of a local anesthetic. A surgical incision is made, and the lipoma is removed from the surrounding tissue. It is typically a simple process, as lipomas do not normally invade adjacent tissues.
Few risks are associated with such a simple surgical procedure. A few patients develop infections at the site of the incision which might require treatment with antibiotics. A small number of patients experience adverse reactions to the local anesthetic or antiseptics used during the procedure but such allergies are very rare. Stitches may be required to close the incision and some pain is common at or near the site of the incision. Itching and tingling may occur as the wound heals.
Cosmetic concerns may arise as a result of lipoma removal. These growths can require an incision of up to two inches in length. Careful preparation of the area and diligent care after surgery can minimize the amount of scarring resulting from such a procedure, however. Some small amount of scar tissue is still apt to form. This may be an issue when the procedure is done on highly visible part of the body.
The two other procedures commonly used for lipoma removal are steroid treatment and liposuction. The chief drawback of both of these procedures is that they often fail to completely remove the lipoma which will continue to slowly grow after the procedure. Also, some patients react poorly to steroid injections.