Lipoma Removal: How To Diagnose & Treat

Examining a lipoma on arm

Discovering an unusual growth is usually a bit unnerving and should prompt a trip to the doctor. If your physician diagnoses the growth as a lipoma, what to do about it is a personal choice. One option is lipoma removal in Toronto at The Centre for Minor Surgery.

What Is a Lipoma?

Round or oval-shaped lumps of fatty tissues that grow just below the skin are called lipomas (lipid is another word for fat). They move when touched and have a rubbery feel rather than hard. They’re rarely painful and don’t cause health issues, which is why some people don’t seek treatment for them. They are also quite common. About 1 of every 1,000 people has a lipoma, which appears most often between ages 40 and 60. You’re more likely to develop a lipoma if someone in your family has one, and they’re slightly more common in women.

How Is a Lipoma Diagnosed?

Physicians often diagnose lumps that develop just below the skin by feeling the growth and asking if it’s painful or tender. In some cases, lipomas can be mistaken for cysts, and an imaging test (such as ultrasound or MRI) can determine the nature of the growth with certainty. If it is a lipoma, a doctor may order a biopsy to confirm that it isn’t cancer. Lipomas are commonly found in the neck, shoulders, back, abdomen, arms, and thighs.

When Should You Treat Lipomas?

Not all lipomas need treatment. Many don’t cause any symptoms and may be in areas that are typically covered by clothing. Some people, however, feel self-conscious about the appearance of lipomas—especially if they’re larger or in a conspicuous area. They may also become tender or put pressure on an adjacent nerve. Lipomas that develop on the back can be uncomfortable when lying down.

How Are Lipomas Removed?

Lipomas don’t disappear on their own, and home remedies you might see advertised online don’t work. If you decide to have a lipoma removed, it’s important to meet with a Royal College-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your concerns. Because patients typically want lipomas removed for aesthetic reasons, an experienced plastic surgeon ensures that the incisions made when removing the lipoma will be as small and discreet.

Our surgeons use a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area before making an incision over the lipoma, which is then removed surgically before closing the incision.

How Much Does Lipoma Removal Cost?

The cost of removing a lipoma depends on the area and the size of the growth. The cost of lipoma removal at our Toronto practice starts at $595.

Our surgeons specialize in lipoma removal and other minor plastic surgery procedures, and patients don’t need a referral before seeing one of our surgeons. Lipoma removal is usually not covered by OHIP. You can book a consultation using the online form, or you can schedule an appointment by calling us at (416) 663-9649. We can typically perform the procedure the same day as the consultation.

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