Lipoma is a slow growing fatty masses that feels like a soft lump growing under the skin. They may feel smooth and move with pressure. Although described as a tumor, they are usually benign (not cancerous) and can grow slowly larger over time. Rarely, they can be malignant (cancerous) in the form of a liposarcoma. As they grow, they can displace the surrounding tissues, press against nerves or blood vessels and cause pain, and become visibly deforming especially when they grow on the face or forehead. They can grow on all parts of the body and sometimes a patient may have more than one. Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan, top board certified plastic surgeons in the Boston Mass area, can gently and safely remove lipomas with the goals of reducing or eliminating symptoms, restoring normal contour or appearance, and establishing a diagnosis by a pathologist. Removal is usually covered by your health insurance plan. Some patients may want known lipomas removed for cosmetic reasons and do not need to use health insurance. The procedure is usually performed with just local anesthesia - the area is numbed with medicine and the patient feels no pain. The lipoma can then be removed through a small incision placed in a wrinkle or crease to minimize or hide the scar. Removal is usually straightforward. The small wound can then be meticulously closed with stitches that are buried and dissolving, so stitch removal is not required. Patients recover quickly with little to no discomfort or interruption in their usual activities or work. The day of the procedure should be relaxing “like a day at the spa”.
This massive neck mass was a lipoma removed by Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan. Lipomas are usually removed when they are small. Without removal, they can grow quite large and surround or invade surrounding critical structures. This lipoma in the neck extended for more than 20 cm and wrapped around sensitive nerves, blood vessels and muscles, which required careful and meticulous removal in the operating room with general anesthesia. When small lipomas are removed, it is usually performed under local anesthesia.
LIPOMA REMOVAL POSTOPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS
Use medication as directed. Most commonly, pain control will be from the local anesthetic, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen. You may experience some soreness as the local anesthetic wears off.
Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan will make the smallest incision possible to remove your lipoma. Most wounds will be closed with absorbable sutures and Dermabond (skin glue). The skin glue forms a barrier to water. Over the skin glue you may have Steri-Strips (white or tan tape). Please do not remove the Steri-strips. Leave them in place until they fall off on their own. They may stay for a few weeks.
Unless otherwise instructed, you may shower the day of the lipoma removal. Please avoid bathing or soaking the wound in water.
Observe the wound for signs of infection such as redness pus or fevers. Please call your surgeon if signs of infection are noted.
Please call the Dr. Taylor or Dr. Sullivan if you have any questions or concerns.
Elevate the surgical site when possible. For facial surgery, consider sleeping with extra pillows. Elevation will help decrease discomfort and minimize swelling.
It is important to be seen by Dr. Taylor or Dr. Sullivan after your operation. Call to schedule your appointments at Taylor & Sullivan Plastic Surgery office at (617) 492-0620 between the hours of 8:30 – 5:00 or visit our webpage at www.massplasticsurgeons.com.