What Questions Should I Ask a Surgeon About Removing a 9 Cm Lipoma from the Back of my Neck?

I've had the lipoma for over five years and it has grown 4 cm in 15 months. I'd like to have it removed primarily for cosmetic reasons. I'll be seeing a plastic surgeon soon for a consult. I want to ask the Dr. good questions, but am not sure what to ask. Would greatly appreciate advice. Also, should I be concerned about having the lipoma removed, given it's location?

Doctor Answers 4


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Ask him how big is the incision and if he can remove it through a stab wound incision using the technique in the attached video.  Best wishes. Knowledge is power.  Luis F. Villar MD FACS

West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Large Lipoma Growing on the Back of My Neck, Increasing in Size.

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A 9 cm lipoma is quite large. There are reports of "giant" lipomas, starting at 10 cm and going up to 19 cm. Your lipoma has the typical history of slow growth, and there is no mention of pain or history of trauma. 

It would be good to confirm that the lipoma is growing above the fascia, that is, that it is entirely subcutaneous, without any growth between muscle planes.

This can usually be determined with an MRI.

Removal plan is up to the judgement of the surgeon and his or her consultants.  A biopsy can help to rule out a malignancy. The literature notes that liposarcomas rarely arise in lipomas. "It seldom arises from subcutaneous tissues or from preexisting lipomas, and is seldom found in children."

While many large lipomas can be successfully removed with a combination of laser and liposuction, every lesion needs individual consideration. 

Lipomas usually have a discernible capsule or interface between normal tissue and the lipoma, so removal through an incision of adequate size allows thorough removal. The tissue can also be submitted for histological examination.

The odds are greatly in favor of a benign lipoma.


Robert M. Lowen, MD
Mountain View Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Lipoma Questions

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Ask him to do it in a hospital, while you are under general anesthesia.  This is for your comfort and safety.

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Questions to Ask before Excision of Lipoma?

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Thank you for the question.

Generally speaking, any question that helps you feel more comfortable with the planned procedure and helps alleviate anxiety should be asked. There is no such thing as a bad question.

I would suggest that you ask questions such as:  what is the plastic surgeon's experience  level with these types of procedures in this location, where they planned  incision would be,  what are the potential risk/complications associated with the procedure,  type of anesthesia planned, what are activity restrictions like after the procedure.

 I'm sure you will think of other questions to ask, more specific to your own situation. It is always a good idea to write down your questions before you go in for consultation.

Best wishes.

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.