Have you recently noticed a growth underneath your skin that is soft to the touch and that moves when you put some pressure on it? It is understandably anxiety inducing to find any kind of growth under your skin, but in this particular case what you have found is most likely a lipoma, which is considered to be a benign or non-cancerous growth.
While lipomas can be fairly common and in many cases do not need to be treated, in some instances they will grow larger or in a location that might cause discomfort or can simply be something you really don’t like the look of. The removal of a lipoma at The Plastic Surgery Clinic has now become much simpler as we no longer need a referral from your family doctor for this procedure.
Simply put a lipoma is a collection of fat cells that overgrow and create a bump or lump under your skin. Lipomas are not considered to be dangerous. They are non-cancerous or benign tumors that grow slowly and that tend to be relatively small in size (no more than 2-3 cm). In some cases, if left untreated, they can grow larger (more than 10 cm) and become very uncomfortable. However, in most instances patients seek to remove lipomas for aesthetic reasons.
Lipomas can occur anywhere on the body where you have fat cells. They are most commonly found on the neck, shoulders, armpits, chest, abdomen, and thighs, but can also appear in areas such as the forehead.
The cause of lipomas is not entirely clear, for some it is due to specific medical conditions such as Gardner’s or Cowden Syndrome, amongst others, for others it is due to a genetic condition.
Typically, lipomas will grow very close to the surface of the skin and become noticeable when they reach their average size, in rarer instances they will grow deeper under the skin and remain relatively unnoticeable but may then put pressure on internal organs or nerves which could have adverse side effects in a patient.
You will first be booked for a free consultation with one of our expert plastic surgeons. The consultation will involve a physical examination of your lipoma and a medical history. Following your consultation, you will have an appointment scheduled for the removal of your lipoma.
During your procedure, your doctor will administer a local anesthetic in order to minimize any discomfort or pain. He or she will then make an incision directly over the lipoma and surgically remove it. Typically, for a lipoma removal, the incision is generally smaller than the lipoma itself. In some cases, if the lipoma is embedded a little deeper in the surrounding tissue, a larger incision might have to be made. Once fully removed the small incision will be stitched up. Our surgeons will do everything they can in order to ensure that there is no to minimal scarring.
An at home treatment plan will be recommended if necessary.
In the rare case that your incision were to get infected, your doctor will prescribe a treatment of antibiotics.
In most cases you can return to your normal work schedule and/or daily activities following your procedure. This is however largely dependent on the type of work that you do and the location from which your lipoma was removed. Simply take care that your work or any other activities don’t put undue stress or pressure on the incision or treated area.
The cost of a lipoma removal is dependent on the complexity of your case. The cost of most minor procedures at The Plastic Surgery Clinic range anywhere from $275-$350. You will be given a firm quote once one of our surgeons has personally examined you at your consultation.
In some cases OHIP will cover certain minor procedures, however the removal of lipomas are typically not covered by OHIP.
The results of a lipoma removal are permanent. If fully removed, the lipoma should not grow back in the treated area.
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