Best Surgeon and Method for Removal of Lipoma at Base of Neck?

I've had lipoma approx. 15 years w/no issues. Last year growing and more painful - appears to be interfering with neck nerves (dizziness, sharp shooting pains, etc.). MRI reads: "mild mass effect upon the posterior upper neck muscles". I am concerned with nerve damage during removal, so I want the best type of surgeon for this type of lipoma removal. I am not concerned about cosmetics (back and base of neck, under my hair). It is 6.1 X 7.7 X 2.4 Cm. Thank you!!

Doctor Answers 5

Nek lipoma

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I personally would see a very experienced head and neck surgeon ( Otolaryngologist ) who does extensive neck surgery cases.

Lipoma Neck?

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Thank you for the question.

Based on your description, I think you will be okay with a well-trained board-certified General Surgeon, ENT or  Plastic Surgeon. In this case, I think the “quality” of the surgeon ( as opposed to the specialty)  is what you should base your due diligence  research on.

Best wishes.

Neck lipoma removal

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Your question is significant because it raises, for me, the question of the distinction between the "best" way to remove the lipoma versus the way that will be covered by your insurance.  It depends upon your goal.  Liposuction offers a very small incision, quick recovery and limited scarring.  However, there are two downsides.  First, I know of no insurance carrier which will authorize lipoma removal via this approach.  Second, there is a risk of regrowth.  Several year ago, a patient of mine had a huge lipoma, commonly referred to as a "buffalo hump" at the base of her neck.   Formal excision would have left a scar at least 6 inches long directly over the collar line and, as she had the propensity for keloidal scarring, would have replaced one problem with another.  Notwithstanding this and two levels of appeal, Oxford refused to pay for the much simpler and more palatable liposuction removal.  So, you have two hurdles.  First, to decide what is more important to you and second, to deal with your insurer.  Best of luck.

Lipoma removal from neck

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either a general surgeon, plastic surgeon or Ent should be experienced enough to remove the lipoma.


lipomas of the neck do act a little differently as some dont come with a pseudocapsule making them a little more difficult to remove.


located in the posterior neck there arent as many important nerves like in the front of the neck. mostly just sensory nerves.


Best surgeon for removal of neck lipoma

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I would ask your primary doctor, or whomever ordered the MRI, to help direct you. General surgeons typically do lipoma excisions. A neurosurgeon or orthopedic spine specialist would be needed for resection of a mass embedded at the spine, but a lipoma causing a mass effect on the muscles would not usually require their involvement.

Stacey Whitehead, MD
Council Bluffs General Surgeon

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.