A lipoma is an abnormal growth (tumor) of normal fat cells. The lipoma can grow anywhere in the body and in some cases, patients have multiple (sometimes 20-30) lipomas.
The lipoma presents as a soft, almost rubbery mass under the skin. The gold standard, with the lowest risk of recurrence, is to make an incision over the lipoma and, under direct vision, remove the lipoma and its capsule. Typically the lipoma has formed a mass and is “clumped” together. Think of it as a small grape under the skin. The lipoma in some cases has to be “shelled out”.
In some cases, however, it is best to think outside the box. The young patient (below) presented to our office with several year history of lipoma on her right shoulder. The lipoma measured 7 centimeters (2.7 inches) across. Due to the location and high risk of noticeable scarring, I recommended liposuction. The procedure was performed under local anesthesia and I was able to use the suction from the cannula tip to “shell out” the lipoma and any “grapes” present.
In the bottom photos, she is shown one month after surgery. Did you notice the bra strap mark on her shoulder? She can now wear a regular bra!
Michael A. Jazayeri, M.D. is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon with over 16 years of experience. His office is located in Orange County, California. To schedule a complimentary consultation, please call (714) 834-0101.
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