Can I Request Further Testing on a Suspected Lipoma?

About a month ago, I found a lump on the right side of my back. It felt squishy & was slightly tender to the touch. Recently, it has grown larger & feels firmer & my ribs are achy on both sides of my back; the lump is very sore. My doctor examined me & scheduled an ultrasound, saying she believed it was a lipoma. The ultrasound tech said she could not see the lump on ultrasound but my doctor's office called me & said there's nothing to worry about. How should I go about getting a firm diagnosis?

Doctor Answers 3

Can I Request Further Testing on a Suspected Lipoma?

I am surprised to hear that the mass couldn't be appreciated on ultrasound. The two ways to confirm the diagnose include sampling the lump with a needle biopsy or an excisional biopsy during which the entire mass is removed. Many patients who are bothered by a lipoma or similar mass will elect to just have it removed which treats the problem, eliminates the symptoms and confirms the diagnosis. I hope this information is helpful.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS

Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Testing of Lipomas and other removed growths

The surest way to get a diagnosis is to have your surgeon send the presumed lipoma as a specimen to the pathologist to take a look at it. They will write up a report which your surgeon can explain to you and give you a copy for your records.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews


The ultimate test is to have it excised. It will then be sent for pathologic examination and a microscopic evaluation and report

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 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.