What Kind of Anesthesia Should I Have to Remove a Small Lipoma on my Neck?

I have a small (less than one inch) lipoma on my right front neck. I have had others removed from arm, leg, buttocks, but never neck. All others done under local. My Primary care doctor sent me to an ear nose throat surgeon due to lipoma location. This surgeon (who is new to me) was trying to talk me into general vs. local. This made me uncomfortable; he said local was also do-able, but he clearly was pushing me towards general. Will I be ok with local, given it's on my neck vs. leg?

Doctor Answers 10

Local Anesthesia is Safer

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Unless you are allergic to local anesthetics, local anesthesia is not only much less costly, but is much safer for small lipoma removal. If you are uncomfortable with your ENT surgeon, you could request a second opinion and see if you are more comfortable with another surgeon. You have had local anesthesia before without problems and are unlikely to have a reaction. ENT surgeons have great knowledge of the neck anatomy and vital structures. Additional studies, such as a CT scan multiply the cost of treating your condition and is only a good idea if the lump is deep in the neck or if the diagnosis is in doubt.

Burley Facial Plastic Surgeon

Local for small lipoma works best!

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If you've had other lipomas removed under local anethesia and had no problems in the past then you should be perfectly fine with this one removed with the same type of procedure. It is true that some could be near a delicate area and be more complicated so a second opinion with another surgeon can resolve the issues.

Arturo Guiloff, MD
Palm Beach Gardens Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Lipoma Removal Anesthesia

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Lipomas are benign collections of fat, which can present as a lump or bump under the skin. Lipomas can occur pretty much anywhere in the body. Treatment is surgery for removal. Surgery for lipoma removal can be performed via local anesthesia, IV sedation, or general anesthesia. The decision regarding type of anesthesia is dependent on the size and location of the lipoma, in addition to mutual agreement between surgeon and patient. Small lipomas in the neck might be removed via local anesthesia. Only after a comprehensive evaluation can a lipoma surgeon help determine appropriate options for you.

Ask your surgeon which type of anesthesia will be required for your lipoma removal. Best of luck.

Dr. Chaboki

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Right neck lipoma

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Assuming this is truly a lipoma and it is only one inch large, then local anesthesia should be sufficient for removal. Some sugeons may suggest IV sedation for extra comfort or if the patient may be too anxious or jittery for face/neck work. Make sure your surgeon has ruled out other possibilities for this neck mass, such as lymph node, cysts, thyroid issues, etc. Good luck!

Thomas T. Le, MD
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Lipoma removal and local anesthesia

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Most small lipomas, including ones in the neck, can be removed under local anesthesia.  However there are many vital structures in the neck.  If the lipoma is deep or if your surgeon has concerns and suggest general anesthesia in your case.  I would  either heed his recommendation and consider the general anesthesia or get a second opinion from an equally qualified surgeon.   

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Lipoma removal and best anesthesia used

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Most lipomas are removed via local anesthesia and are simple procedures. However not knowing the exact placement of yours in the neck I would suggest discussing the reasons of the general anesthesia with your surgeon. I must assume if he is requesting the general anesthesia he has good reason for that. If you are concerned about the anesthesia I would schedule an appointment to discuss your concerns with the anesthesiologist as well. Best regards!

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 218 reviews

Removal of lipoma - Beverly Hills

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Hello and thank you for the question.

Because there are several named vital structures in the neck region, the exact locale of your lipoma and its depth will guide your surgeon in deciding whether to perform the procedure under local versus a general anesthetic. I would personally follow the advice of your surgeon, as he/she has experience operating in this area. If you are still unsatisfied with the proposed anesthetic, seek other opinions with equally qualified Board Certified Surgeons.

Warmest Regards,

Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S. 

Glenn Vallecillos, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Lipoma of neck

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The neck cotains many vital structures, and that is why your surgeon is suggesting general anesthesia.

If this is a true lipoma, the decision must be made is it under the platysma muscle or above the platysma muscle? What vital structures are around it? What how lonf the scar is needed?

The confidence of the surgeon to answer all these questions and expertise in neck surgery the lipoma can be done either way. you have to be comfortable and confident in the anesthesia and surgeon. Then make the decision.


Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Local vs general

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As long as the mass is not deep and can be palpated. It should be easily removed with local anesthesia in the office. If in the anterior neck and its been there a while. U have to make sure its not a branchial cleft cyst. If any doubt get a ct scan. This will give depth location and help make decision easier.

Minimal Incision Surgery Works Well For Most Small and Medium-Sized Lipomas

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Lipomas, which are benign fat tumors (fat accumulations), ordinarily do not cause symptoms. However, in areas where they protrude and bulge, they often cause considerable cosmetic distress. Traditional surgical approaches require an incision along the entire diameter of the bulge, which, with larger lesions, typically requires many stitches to close, leaving a prominent, unsightly scar. Sometimes they are removed under general anesthesia, although more commonly they can be easily treated using local anesthesia.

Piezotherapy is a simpler approach that works for removing most small to medium sized lipomas--best for those measuring only a few centimeters across in diameter. With this technique a small punch is made under local anesthesia over the center of the bulge. The fatty contents are then "delivered" through the small opening that results, much the same way a full-sized baby is delivered through the small opening of the vagina. Once all the contents are removed, the small incision can be closed with very few sutures, and the scar that results is naturally far smaller than those created by tradiitonal excisional surgery and generally barely visible because of its smaller size.

To minimize any risk to underlying structures in the neck, the surgeon can simply lift up the lipoma between his fingers and then incise it. Lipomas are characteristically located within the skin and there is little need for an incision that goes down below the depth of the skin that may traumatize deeper nerves and blood vessels. Naturally, you should seek out a board certified plastic or dermatologic surgeon experienced in this technique.

Nelson Lee Novick, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 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.