Lipomas are small lumps found below the skin. They are soft and made of fatty tissue. They can vary in size from the size of a pea up to several centimetres across. Rarely they can be quite large and deep, attached to underlying muscle and can cause pain and restriction of movement. On the whole they are completely pain free and benign (non-cancerous).
What do they look like?
They are normally quite soft and found just under the skin. They are most often found over the chest, back, shoulders, neck and face. They can also occur on the thighs and the bottom. When felt they are often slightly mobile and painless. In the vast majority of cases they do not cause any pain or discomfort.
Can they be removed?
Lipomas can normally be easily removed. The removal of lipomas is often considered a cosmetic procedure and hence is often NOT available on the NHS. Only rarely when the lipomas are quite large and deep can it be difficult to get them removed.
How are lipomas removed?
Lipomas can either be cut out (excised) or reduced in size using laser or plasma devices. This procedure can often be conducted under local anaesthetic. Only when the lipomas are very large and extending deep is a general anaesthetic (getting put to sleep) required.
©Individual results may vary.
At Rejuvence, we have extensive experience in the treatment and removal of lipomas. We offer a complete service from diagnostic imaging, to surgery and even histopathology services to confirm that your lump is indeed a lipoma. We are able to achieve excellent cosmetic results in the vast majority of patients. All of this can be offered at an extremely competitive price. For further information please book a consultation.
The majority of lipomas do not require any scans. Simple clinical examination will usually be enough to confirm that it is likely to be a lipoma. In some cases of lumps on the forehead and face it can be difficult to distinguish between a lipoma and a sebaceous cyst. In these cases an ultrasound scan can be very helpful. Ultrasound is the initial scan of choice for any lumps or bumps on the body. For lumps greater than 5cm in size we will insist on getting an ultrasound scan to ensure they are not cancerous in nature. If anything suspicious is identified on ultrasound we will recommend an MRI scan and will not proceed with surgery.
As part of our Lipoma service at Rejuvence Clinic we offer ultrasound scans performed by our resident Consultant Radiologists. We believe in offering our patients the best care possible and all under one roof. Where our surgeons feel a scan is necessary prior to embarking on surgery we can arrange for an immediate ultrasound scan at our clinic. If you have had an ultrasound scan with your GP we will ask you to provide us with a copy of the formal report prior to any surgery.
Lipomas are almost always benign in nature. Benign means they are not cancerous in nature. However, lipomas greater than 5cm and especially those occurring over the back and lower limbs can be cancerous in nature. These are referred to as liposarcomas. In these cases an ultrasound scan is essential.
The most common technique used to treat lipomas is excision (cutting out). This is carried out under local anaesthetic. Apart from the slight sting of the local anaesthetic, the procedure is completely painless. A small incision is made over the lump, and the lipoma identified. It is then separated away from the surrounding tissue and pulled up to the surface. The stalk of the lipoma is cut away and the bed cauterised to ensure there is no bleeding. Once completely removed the incision is stitched closed.
There will be a small scar over the site of the lipoma. This scar is often the length of the lipoma at most. To achieve the best possible cosmetic outcome we use a combination of stitches and glue. In the vast majority of people the scar heals well and an excellent cosmetic result is achieved. Rarely, when the lipoma is located over the shoulders, chest or back, and the individual is susceptible, a keloid scar can develop. This is a raised scar that can end up being quite prominent. At your initial consultation, we will be able to advise on the likelihood of this occurring. In addition any resultant keloids can be treated to reduce them in size. For further information please refer to the keloids section.
In the vast majority of cases it is not necessary to send off the lipoma to the lab for histopathological assessment. Histopathology of a lump involves it being checked under a microscope in the lab to ensure there is no evidence of cancer. Where the lipoma removed is greater than 5cm our surgeons may recommend histopathology. In this case we will insist on the lesion being sent for assessment at an additional cost.