Thank you for your question. Drains, are typically placed in order to remove any fluid that may accumulate in a space created with surgery. In the case of a lipoma, if it is large enough that it leaves a pocket after it is removed, it is wise to place a drain in order to prevent fluid from accumulating. Drain placement is exceedingly uncommon with lipoma removal, and would require a fairly large lipoma to create a space large enough to warrant a drain.
This would likely depend on size but also surgeon preference. I have never used a drain for lipoma removal as they tend to be superficial and a small pressure dressing is typically adequate to prevent swelling/ hematoma and much easier for you to deal with in the first couple days post surgery. I hope this information is helpful for you.
Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
I don't use drains for lipoma removals unless they are huge in size (over 10cm). There is a lot of surgeon preference based on this decision. If you have any questions you should discuss it with your surgeon.