A lipoma is an abnormal growth of fatty tissue under the skin. It typically presents as a soft, mobile mass under the skin that can be painless or sometimes tender. The skin above a lipoma is normal. The most common area for them to grow is the trunk and arms, but lipomas can grow nearly anywhere on the body. They can vary in size from 1/2 inch to many inches. Sometimes the tendency to grow lipomas can run in families.
Most lipomas can be removed with a simple, in-office procedure with minimal discomfort. After numbing the skin, a small incision is preformed allowing the lipoma to be extracted from beneath the skin. The incision is typically repaired with a few sutures.
Physical activity levels may be limited for up to 2 weeks depending on the part of the body treated and if sutures were required. A pathologist will confirm the diagnosis of a benign lipoma and patients are typically notified within 2 weeks. Lipoma removal is typically covered through insurance. You are encouraged to call your dermatologist if there is regrowth.