Excision of a small lipoma is usually done under local anaesthetic.
Large lipomata, multiple lipomata or lipomata that arise inside muscles require a general anaesthetic.
An incision is made over the lipoma and dissection is carried out to remove the entire lipoma. Some lipomata may be very similar to the surrounding fat which can make a complete excision more difficult.
The lipoma is sent to be analysed under the microscope at the pathology laboratory.
The wound is usually closed with dissolving sutures.
Lipoma excision carries a small risk of bleeding, infection and wound breakdown.
The lipoma may recur it is incompletely excised.
If the lipoma lies over an area where a sensory nerve travels, this may rarely be injured during the excision which will result in a small area of numbness.
Pain is mild and will be felt once the local anaesthetic wears off about 3 hours after the procedure.
If you require pain-killers, you can use Panadol or Neurofen (provided you have no contra-indications to using these medications)
Dressings are usually in two layers – Steristrips with a padded-Opsite on top.
These are waterproof so you can shower but cannot swim or have a bath for 2 weeks or until after your follow up wound review.
The top dressing stays on for 5-7 days.
Once the top dressing comes off, leave the Steristrips on for a few more days until they start to peel off by themselves.
If Dermabond glue is used instead, this will peel off in 2-3 weeks and is also waterproof.
Local anaesthetic procedures are usually performed in the rooms and you can drive yourself home.
If the procedure is performed under sedation or general anaesthesia, you can go home the same day but will need to be picked up as you cannot drive until the next day (preferably 24 hours after the anaesthetic)
You will be given a follow up appointment for wound to be reviewed. Pathology of the lipoma will be discussed at the same time.