Lipomas - Surgical Specialists of Greater NY
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If you notice a soft, painless lump on your neck, shoulders, or back, chances are you have a lipoma. As lipomas grow, they can cause pain or turn into an embarrassing, visible problem. When you want to get rid of a lipoma, the board-certified team at Surgical Specialists of Greater NY expertly removes the lump leaving a barely noticeable scar. They welcome patients at three locations in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Astoria area of Queens, and Bayside neighborhood in Flushing. To schedule an appointment, book online or call the nearest New York City Office today.

What are lipomas?

A lipoma is a soft lump of fat cells enclosed in a thin layer of tissue. These noncancerous lumps grow slowly and typically appear in adults between the ages of 40-60.

You can develop one or more lipomas. They most often occur on your scalp, neck, shoulders, back, head, arms, and legs, but they can appear anywhere on your body, including your buttocks.

What symptoms do lipomas cause?

The lump most often appears just under your skin, where it feels soft and easily moves if you push it with your finger. Lipomas typically stay smaller than two inches in diameter, but they can grow larger. Your lipoma may become painful if it presses on nerves.

Though not common, lipomas can also develop in your muscles or organs. When that happens, they cause pain and a range of possible symptoms depending on the affected organ and if the lump interferes with the organ’s ability to function.

If you notice a lump that seems like a lipoma, but it rapidly enlarges and causes pain, you may have a different condition. These symptoms indicate a rare, cancerous growth called a liposarcoma.

How are lipomas treated?

Lipomas won’t disappear on their own and they don’t improve with medications. If your lipoma causes pain or affects your appearance, you only have one treatment option: surgery to remove the lump.

During your first appointment at Surgical Specialists of Greater NY, your provider reviews your medical history and examines the lump. Depending on the results of your exam, they may order diagnostic imaging to verify your diagnosis.

Before removing the lump, your provider applies a local anesthetic. If you have a large or painful lipoma, your provider may recommend sedation to ensure your comfort throughout the procedure.

Then they make a small incision and remove the fatty tissues, often eliminating the entire lump intact. You may have discomfort and minimal swelling at the surgical site, but these side effects don’t last long. Your incision should heal within two weeks.

Your provider may ask you to avoid strenuous activities for a few days. Otherwise, most people return to their normal schedule the next day.

If you have questions about a lipoma or other lumps, call Surgical Specialists of Greater NY or schedule an appointment online today.