Lipoma Growing Back or 2nd Lipoma?

I had a large lipoma removed a year ago in my forearm leaving a four inch scar down my forearm. A week after the lipoma was removed I had a huge hamatoma appear. That finally went away, months later, and now I am getting another lump on the bottom of my scar and down further into the arm. When the doctor took the lipoma out he was concerned as it did not look like a lipoma and wasn't sure what it was but the pathology came back as an undescript lipoma. Do I leave this other lump alone?

Doctor Answers 1

May be a second lipoma, but I would get it checked anyway.

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I'm sorry to hear you went through so much only to have more going on. I always am careful to tell patients that lipoma removal does come with the risk of a recurrence because the deeper parts of even a benign lipoma can be interwoven in muscle fibers and hard to completely remove.

In your case, if the pathology said "nondescript lipoma", I would interpret that as "plain lipoma" meaning, nothing to worry about, but if it said something more vague like "seems like a lipoma but we aren't sure", then I would consider that appropriate to look further into.

Either way, a second surgery to remove the growing tissue isn't a bad idea, just to double check the pathology. It sounds like the original growth was quite large, and the likelihood of some lipoma tissue being deep was probably high.

Make sure when you have the surgery this time, it is with a general surgeon, plastic surgeon, or dermatologist, in case the first surgery wasn't. Also make sure they send the new tissue to pathology, ideally to the same lab that saw the original, to compare.

Since this new area is smaller than the first, I expect you will have fewer problems with the healing and it should go smoother.

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