Recovery for Deltoid Lipoma Removal?

I have a recurring lipoma to my right deltoid area the size of a large grape, that has become painful (feels like my arm has the flu) in the past few weeks. I had a lipoma removed from the same place 10 years ago (when I was 14). I am scheduled for lipoma removal surgery in a few weeks. I only took 3 days off work, I'm right-handed, and a nurse. How long of a recovery period do you think I will need? Will they need to cut into my muscle?

Doctor Answers 3

Lipoma Recovery

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Thanks for your question -

Lipoma resection is usually very straightforward surgery. In our San Francisco area practice we perform these surgeries routinely in the office under local anesthesia. Recovery is usually quick with pain resolving in a few days usually.

The incision and scar will continue to mature over six months.

I hope this helps.

Lipoma from shoulder.

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This is an extremely common area for lipomas. It is so common, this lipoma has a name of its' own. It is called an epaulet lipoma.

Epaulets are the shoulder decorations that miliatary personnel wear on their uniforms.

Epaulet lipomas rarely invade the muscle. Surgery tends to be uncomplicated and is usually easily perfomed. Pain is typically caused by the growing tumor stretching overlying nerves or vessels and is rarely indicative of any problem.

Discuss your work place with your surgeon. Depending on the extend of the tumor, the surgeon will advise you on pos-operative restrictions which are likely few. Remember, however, that if you subject your scar to alot of stretching for 3 months after surgery, it is more likely to widen and become less atttractive. You may want to consider silicone gel sheeting or topical paper tape therapy for 2-4 months after surgery to minimize hypertrophic scar formation.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Should be ok by three days.

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I had a large lipoma removed from the same area in the morning and tried to have office hours that afternoon. By the end of office hours it felt like I had a large weight sitting on my shoulder. The sugeon had to cut out part of my muscle thereby ruining any hopes I had for an Olympic medal in weightlifting. However, the next day I was OK. By the third day I was fine and I think you should be too. I would ask an aid to do any heavy lifting though.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist

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.