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- Treatment Overview
Lipoma Treatment Overview
First steps to consider
- Lipomas are generally harmless but can be removed by a healthcare provider.
When you may need a provider
- The bump is getting bigger quickly.
- The bump is painful, red, or has a discharge.
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When to see a healthcare provider
Lipomas are usually harmless. But it’s important to have any new lump checked by a healthcare provider to make sure it’s nothing serious. In rare cases, a type of cancer called liposarcoma can look like lipomas.
See a healthcare provider as soon as possible if a suspected lipoma is hard, rapidly growing in size, restricts your movement, or is painful beyond slight tenderness with pressure. These lumps should be biopsied to make sure they’re not serious.
A lipoma can be diagnosed with a skin exam. Your doctor may order tests to rule out cancer, like a biopsy or ultrasound.
What to expect from your doctor visit
- If a lipoma isn’t bothering you, your provider may recommend leaving it alone. Lipomas don’t go away on their own and typically don’t keep growing, but they may get bigger if you gain weight. But if you lose weight, they don’t usually shrink. In fact, they may become more noticeable.
- Lipomas can be surgically removed if you don’t like their appearance, they cause discomfort, or they interfere with your movement. The doctor typically uses local anesthesia before making a cut in the skin and removing the lipoma.
Types of lipoma providers
- A primary care provider can diagnose a lipoma and monitor it if you don’t want to treat it.
- A dermatologist, who specializes in skin disorders, can surgically remove a lipoma.
- If liposuction is recommended, you will be referred to a plastic surgeon, who is trained in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.