Lipoma on Leg - Removal Recovery and Process

The doctor just diagnosed me with a lipoma and recommend that I see a surgeon. The location is my leg close to the shin area about the middle. My question is I think one is about the size of a quarter the other smaller is this an in office procedure or is it a more complicated? Also, what is the recovery time for something like this? Will I still be able to workout I usually workout everyday will there be limitations at the gym? What is the process and will I have to have stiches? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 3

Lipoma - Removal, Technique, Recovery and Getting Back to the Gym

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Hi Tucson4362,

Depending on the size of the lipoma, one or more small incisions are typically made and then the lipoma (a benign, fatty tumor) is removed.  In my practice it is almost always done in the office under a little local anesthesia. I advise patients not to exercise for about 3 weeks after any surgical procedure, and even including this one.  The smaller the lipoma, though, the less this is likely to be an issue.  It takes about 30-45 minutes and is not overly uncomfortable.

A few sutures are often used but if it's very small, even that may not be necessary.

Once you do go back to the gym, I would advise that you start slowly and advance as tolerated (ie, don't go for that 30 mile trek on the first day back).

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Small lipoma removal is relatively minor surgery with almost no down time

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Lipomas are extremely common and represent benign fatty tumors. Removal potentially can be performed either in office or in an outpatient center under local anesthesia and is a relatively minor procedure.

You will have sutures which may even all be deep to the skin. Returning to work or school can even be the same day. I would recommend avoiding working out at least for several days

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Lipoma removal is outpatient surgery

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Lipoma removal is done in an outpatient surgical setting. It is typically done with local anesthesia and involves a small incision to remove the lipoma. There is typically a subcutaneous suture with steri strips and you should be back at the gym within a week. This procedure is typically covered by insurance and has a quick recovery with immediate results. You should be able to return to work the following day or even the day of the procedure. I do remove a fair amount of lipomas in my practice and commonly multiple lipomas in a single session. If you have any further direct questions you would like answered please feel free to reach me via email listed below. Best regards!

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 214 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.