Lipoma Attacks the Same Area Now for the 4th Time?

My lipoma is on my left rib and has been removed 3x already and keeps tripling in size. Its now 8.4cm and pressing on my large intestines. I have diverticulitis and its causing severe pain. My surgeon doesnt want to remove again as the fluid from nov 2011 never absorbed as it should have so he doesnt no what to do at this point. I dont no what to do I cant keep living this way.

Doctor Answers 3

Lipomas larger than 5 cm should be excised ..

Lipomas larger than 5 cm are concerning as they are likley to degenerate into cancerous lesions (like liposarcoma, etc). Also, it is interesting and concerning that it has recurred and is 8,.4 cm, all the more reason to get complete excision. It is over a rib and although you don't specfy which rib, it is best to get a thoracic surgeon involved during the resection in case there needs to be need for wide excision and reconstruction with mesh, cyanoacrylate 'sandwich' and/or localized muscle flap ... thoracic surgery in conjunction with plastic reconstructive surgeon. Get an MRI first before any resection is attempted to evaluate the extent and depth of the lesion .. This should be an easy resection for a thoracic (chest) surgeon.

Buffalo Phlebologist
4.8 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Recurrent lipoma problems

I don't think you mentioned the removal technique, hopefully is wasn't with liposuction as this would be inappropriate.  If it were done open, then some must have been left over for there to be a recurrence.  As suggested an MRI and a visit to a very experienced plastic surgeon who is also a Board Certified general surgeon would be good or visit a general surgeon or surgical oncologist who removes tumors regularly who is the top in your area.  This might be something worse than a benign lipoma, such as a liposarcoma. 

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


A lipoma which has recurred after three prior excision attempts draws concern.  The fact that the lipoma is becoming increasingly painful should push you to a resolution of the problem. 

I would recommend an MRI to determine the extent of the lipoma. Also, it might be a good idea for a pathologist to review the slides to be sure this is a simple lipoma. Rather than a simple lipoma, this could possibly be a deep atypical lipoma or even a well differentiated liposarcoma. 

If you have not seen your surgeon in awhile, it would seem to be time to do so. 

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

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