What Are the Pros and Cons of Lipoma Removal?

I have a lipoma the size of a golf ball on my middle lower back right above my buttocks. I have never had surgery and I am self conscious of the lump and want it removed. What are the pros and cons of removal?

Doctor Answers 6

Pros and Cons of lipoma removal

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Lipomas are benign, meaning, noncancerous. Not all lumps that are "soft and fleshy" in consistency are lipomas. The biggest "Pro" is to define what you have growing there and stop it. As they gorw larger they can displace more tissue and leave a larger "dent" when they are removed. Malignant lumps can be dangerous or life threatening although they are far more rare than lipomas.

The "Cons" are the need for surgery to remove them, the discomfort and potentially the cost depending upon your health insurance and to whom you go for surgery.

Orange Plastic Surgeon

Pros and cons of lipoma removal, including risks

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Lipoma removal may leave small scars.  However, it is better to remove lipomas early as they generally progress and get larger. 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Lipoma surgery

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pros of surgery is that you can get rid of the thing that is bothering you and you will get a definitive diagnosis.

cons of surgery are the same for every surgery. risk of recurrence,pain, scar, tiny nerve injuries, infection,etc

all the risks in this particular surgery are very low though.



Pros and cons of lipoma removal

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A true lipoma is a benign (not cancerous) growth of extra fatty tissue. Usually they are not painful, but sometimes can have extra blood vessels mixed in that can be associated with some pain or tenderness. Some lipomas grow noticeably, and some just sit there.

The pro of having one removed, is that the lump will be gone. There is a risk of recurrence, depending on the depth and shape of the lipoma. The downside is that there will be a scar and possibly a dell or indentation where the extra fatty tissue was, if it was large or there a long time.

Jessica J. Krant, MD, MPH
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Advantages and disadvantages of lipoma removal.

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The removal of a lipoma is usually straightforward procedure. In this area, advantages would be the absence of that lump that you currently feel and the possibility of it no longer growing larger. Disadvantages include a scar at this location, possible depression or defect at this area, and regular complications seen with any surgery such as hematoma, seroma, infection, or difficulty with wound healing.

Pros and Cons of lipoma removal

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The biggest pro is to get an affirmative diagnosis as well as to ensure removeal of the mass. The trade off is a small scar over the area.

Lipomas are not something that will just go away without removal.

Darrick E. Antell, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 37 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.