Is Surgery The Only Option For Recurring Wrist Lipoma?

I understand lipoma's can recur if some tissue was missed upon removal. That seems to be my issue after having a lipoma in my wrist removed 16 months ago. Unfortunately it causes me pain if I use my hand for long periods of time and seems to get larger as well (Swelling of the wrist causing it to become more raised?) Is there any other option other than sugery to fix this?

Doctor Answers 4

Wrist lipoma recurrence

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Generally, we see ganglion cysts in the wrist and not lipomas. Ganglions present with raised swelling and it is not uncommon for them to recur. Ask your surgeon what the pathology report revealed. You may need an MRI before a treatment plan can be established.

Lipoma surgery

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I would suggest going back to your original surgeon who did the "lipoma removal" and make sure that the pathology report from the biopsy shows lipoma. As the other surgeons stated this is a common area for a ganglion cyst and it is common that they recur. If it is a Lipoma then surgical removal is the only option. Best regards!

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 218 reviews


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You need to make sure that what you are describing is a LIPOMA and not a GANGLION CYST of the wrist.

If it is a lipoma, it couls be intra articular lipoma(in the joint).

You may need an MRI of the wrist and see a hand specialist


Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Lipoma Surgery

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A lipoma of the wrist is an unusual location so I would be sure that the pathology report states that it is truly is a lipoma. Another common mass in that region would be a ganglion cyst and they can recur. I would also recommend an MRI to evaluate the size and location of your current mass. This will help guide the surgeon during the removal. If it is really a lipoma, then there really isn't another option other than surgery.

Justin Yovino, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 103 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.