What is the Most Common Lipoma Treatment?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2019
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A lipoma is a noncancerous tumor that occurs just below the skin, usually on the neck, shoulders, arms, or legs. Lipomas are considered benign, and only cause health problems if they grow large enough to put pressure on nearby nerves or blood vessels. Since the tumors are usually harmless, most people do not seek lipoma treatment. An unusually large, uncomfortable, or painful lipoma, however, may need to be eradicated through a common treatment procedure, such as liposuction, steroid injections, or surgical removal. A person who believes he or she has a lipoma should consult a physician to rule out cancerous conditions and receive information about the most appropriate treatment.

Most lipomas are relatively small, less than four inches (about ten cm) across. The fatty tumors feel soft and spongy to the touch and can be moved around underneath the skin. Most people who seek lipoma treatment do so for cosmetic reasons, though a lipoma might also be removed because it pinches nerves or blood vesseles or becomes irritated due to friction from clothing. An individual who notices a lump underneath his or her skin can visit his or her doctor to determine what type of treatment should be administered.


Doctors usually conduct physical examinations and remove tissue samples to perform biopsies. If laboratory results show that a lump is not cancerous, the doctor can explain the most common treatment options. Liposuction is a popular choice to remove medium or large tumors without leaving a large scar. A liposuction procedure is usually performed by a licensed cosmetic surgeon, who inserts a hollow syringe into the lipoma, attaches it to an aspirator, and sucks out fatty tissue. Liposuction is typically effective at removing most of a tumor, though remaining tissue can potentially grow into another lipoma.

Steroid injections are a common form of lipoma treatment for smaller tumors. A diluted steroid solution is injected directly into the center of a lipoma to promote atrophy of the fatty tissue, resulting in shrinkage. Steroid injections are often repeated on a monthly basis until a lipoma is barely noticeable. As with liposuction, however, remaining tissue can produce new lipomas.

The most effective and most common lipoma treatment involves surgically removing an entire tumor. A skilled surgeon will make an incision in the skin, cut away a lipoma from healthy skin and muscle tissue, and suture the opening. Surgery is often very effective at extracting all lipoma tissue, and new tumors do not typically appear. Since significant scarring can result, patients may not wish to opt for surgery if a lipoma is on the neck or near the face.


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Post 9

I have some helpful information.

I had a large lipoma located on my arm. After an initial doctor's exam, we identified four other small ones in the same arm. I went to a surgeon because the main/biggest one kept causing me discomfort (it would always bruise because I would hit in desks and other objects).

I asked if the surgeon could remove them in the office after he initially suggested having to have the operation at the hospital. He agreed and they were removed with only a scalpel and local anesthesia. Insurance covered their removal. The lab results did confirm they were lipomas.

I was then told that future removal of lipomas would be considered cosmetic and insurance would not cover additional procedures/operations to have them removed. However, I was also told that insurance may cover additional procedures if future lipomas cause discomfort or pain.

Post 8

Does anyone know if insurance covers removal and/or treatments?

Post 7

How much are steroid injections? What is the cheapest?

Post 6

What happens if the surgeon didn't get it all? This happened to me I think. It's been a month and I still feel much of the mass. I'm going back for a visit, and he said he wants me to be happy, but this may mean he has to cut into me again over the same incision, only make it longer in both directions. What are the dangers here?

Post 5

i have got 5 or 6. Can you please tell me is it dangerous or can it be harmful in later life. i am 29 years of age.

Post 4

i have got nearly 70 varied sizes of lipomas. could you please tell me what i have to do. are they life-threatening?

Post 3

I prefer the´╗┐ non-invasive methods and there are some good results with lipodissolve (deoxycholate, phosphatdylcholine), collagenase and ozo therapy.

I refuse to believe surgery is the only and best treatment for lipomas.

Let's combine our forces and do the research together.

Post 2

i have small lipomas present over the right leg and both hands. how can I have all these removed?

Post 1

what are the side effects of steroid injections? chetan k; india

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