Infiltrating Lipoma in Right Lower Back Muscle.

Hello, I've had a lipoma in my right lower back muscle for a few years. Its approximately 2 inches in diameter and sometimes the muscle under the lipoma feels rather tight at times. I think the lipoma has infiltrated the muscle since it gets tight at times. I'm wondering if I should have it removed; and if so can the lipoma that has infiltraded the muscle be removed as well? What are the chances of the lipoma coming back after removal? I'd really appreciate answers! Thanks, Adam

Doctor Answers 5

Lipoma Excision?

Yes, excision of the lesion is indicated. An MRI study may be useful prior to the procedure. The choice of surgeon will be important.

Best wishes.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Lipoma of the back

Lipomas generally produce pain in the local area. It is more out to cause pain if the lipoma extends into the muscle. The lipoma can be removed even if it extends into the muscle. The recurrence rate is low providing the whole lipoma is removed initially.

Sharon Theresa McLaughlin MD
Long Island City Plastic Surgeon

Infiltrating Angiolipomas

There is a variant of the common lipoma which is called an infiltrating angiolipoma. The fact that you describe you lipoma as infiltrating leads me to think that you have had an MRI indicating that you have this type of tumor.

The infiltrating angiolipoma usually affects the area around the vertebrae, and sometimes the lower extremities (besides the well known angiolipoma of the kidneys).

Or you may have a more cellular variety of the common lipomas which can infiltrate into the muscle. Clinically, they can be differentiated by tenderness: the infiltrating angiolipoma can be quite painful while the regular lipoma which is infiltrating into the muscle is not.

The surgeon will most likely have to sacrifice some of your muscle to ensure total resection of your lesion. If this is done adequately, you will not have a recurrence.

I agree with Dr. Rand, that the sooner the better. It will be easier on both you and your surgeon.

Incidentally, I had a very cellular lipoma removed from my left shoulder about twenty years ago. Mine had infiltrated into the muscle and I use its removal as an excuse for my failure to develop prodigious muscles like that other Arnold.

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

Infiltrating Lipoma Management

Although the VAST majority of Lipomas are benign (non-cancerous), a small minority may be malignant. For this reason we need to submit a piece of the lipoma for Pathology examination to learn its exact identity.

If you want to remove this fatty tumor, the best way to do it is to surgically excise it with its surrounding wall. The cost of doing so is a permanent scar BUT only in doing it in this fashion can you be assured that the entire mass was removed. While liposuction will flatten the area and leave smaller scar, it will leave bits of the lipoma behind and these may eventually come back.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Removal of lipomas

Definitely do not consider liposuction for what you have.  A preop CT scan or MRI can determine if there is muscle infiltration or not.  An open surgical excision by an experienced surgeon is required and the relatively sooner the better so it doesn't continue to grow. 

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 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.