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We offer a number of dermatologic procedures, including treatment of lipomas in Atlanta. If you have discovered a lipoma or something you believe may be a lipoma, contact our office and we will provide an effective solution.
What Are Lipomas?
A lipoma is a lump of fat in the skin that grows gradually. Lipomas are soft to the touch and respond to pressure. In most cases, they are less than 2 inches in diameter.
Lipomas occur in areas like the neck, back, shoulders, arms, legs, and abdomen. They are usually located between the skin and the muscles.
Lipomas are usually painless. However, in some cases, the lipoma may press on a nerve or may contain many blood vessels, causing pain or discomfort.
It must be understood that a lipoma is not cancerous. In most cases, it is harmless and does not pose any major medical problems. However, when a lipoma is painful, is growing, or creates an aesthetic issue for the patient, it can be removed surgically through excision.
Why Do Lipomas Appear?
There is no clear understanding of why lipomas appear. Their formation is usually related to genetics – if your family members have lipomas, you are at risk of developing one. People in the age group of 40 to 60 are more likely to get lipomas.
Diagnosing a Lipoma
During a consultation, a lipoma can be diagnosed through a physical examination. An X-ray or a CT scan may be suggested if the lipoma is large.
A liposarcoma is a cancerous lesion that resembles a lipoma. Because of this, a doctor may order a biopsy in order to rule out liposarcoma.
Treatment Through Excision
Surgical removal through excision is the most common way of treating a lipoma. Lipoma removal is done on an outpatient basis. First, a local anesthetic is administered in order to numb the region to any discomfort or pain. If the lipoma is very large or is located in a sensitive area, sedation may be required. This ensures that the patient is comfortable during the procedure.
Once the anesthetic takes effect, the surgeon makes a small incision in the skin. The lipoma is then removed, and the incision is sutured closed. Surgeons prefer to use dissolvable sutures to close the incision. This is beneficial for the patient, since they would not need to come back in to get the stitches removed. Instead, the stitches would dissolve and be absorbed by the tissues.
The patient can resume normal routines immediately after undergoing the excision procedure. There is no need for downtime or recovery time.
Once the procedure is completed, a dressing is placed on the area where the incision was created. The dressing remains for a week or two until healing is complete. If the lipoma is more than 3 inches in diameter, there is a possibility of fluid collecting. This does not require any treatment and will resolve on its own.
Usually, there are no follow-up visits needed after lipoma excision, since the chances of complications are unlikely.
Schedule Your Consultation to Learn More
Find out more about excision of lipomas in Atlanta – contact us today and set up your consultation. Doctors Mark Baucom and Mary Alice Mina have the years of experience needed to address a wide variety of dermatologic concerns.