What Can Be Done About Painful Lipomas in Leg?

I have lipomas in my leg. I used to only have one but now I have three: two in one leg and one in the other. When I work out, the area around there gets really tight and hurts. This happens sometimes even when I simply walk. My doctor says that I don't need to get them removed because they could just come back; but they're painful. What should I do?

Doctor Answers 5

Remove your lipomas

 Clearly you should have these painful lipomas removed.  Done by a competent doctor these will not recur.  You might make new ones but the old ones should be gone for good.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Some lipomas are painful

Certain types of lipomas are tender, called angiolipomas. They can be removed if they bother you through small holes made with "punches", small circular blades that remove a small piece of skin like a cookie cutter removes dough. If the lipoma is encapulated or not adherent to the underlying tissues it can usually be squeezed through this small hole, leaving only a small scar.

Lorrie Klein, MD
Laguna Niguel Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 216 reviews


If a lipoma is symptomatic, especially if it causes pain, it definitely should be excised. Most painful lipomas actually have a good deal of vascularity to them and are technically called angiolipomas. I doubt there is much of a chance of malignancy, but why suffer in pain?

Excsion is best performed when the lipomas are small. As they grow they are also more likely to encroach on other tissue such as nerves and muscles. They will be more difficult to excise and you would be left with a more prominent scar, so there is no advantage in waiting.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Excise painful lipomas

If the lipomas are painful, I would advise that you consider having them removed.

Tradiitionally this involves an incision and a resulting scar.

Some use liposuction which minimizes the incisions and scars but it has a higher chance of recurrence.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Removal and treatment of painful lipomas

Lipomas are subcutaneous fatty tumors that are usually not painful. Pain may be more often associated with glomus type tumors, angiolipomas, or lipomas that invade or abut sensory nerves. In any case, these tumors should be excised and sent to a pathologist.

Most importantly, you should know that if you have a painful or symptomatic lipoma, surgery may not diminish the pain, despite removal.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.