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Have you been told by your primary care doctor that you either have or most probably have a lipoma?  Or, have you or someone else conjectured that the somewhat doughy lump that you have might be a lipoma?

If the answer is yes, should you be very concerned about it?

In an earlier post, About Lipomas, I explained that it is a fatty tumor (firm mass of fat) which is absolutely benign. That is, it is not a cancer and has essentially no risk of degenerating into one.

These growths, which are quite common, usually arise from the fatty layer of the skin. Though they can appear in most any area of the body where there is fat, they most frequently arise in the arms, legs, back, abdomen, neck and forehead. On occasion, they can be confused with other masses such as a sebaceous cyst or a bony growth (when they are situated on the bone such as on the forehead), but their appearance and characteristics are generally quite distinctive.

Several small lipomas

Several small lipomas

If you have a lipoma, should it be removed?

As this is a benign lump of fat which poses no health risk whatsoever, its presence alone does not warrant its removal. But, this doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be removed.

What are good indications to have a lipoma removed?

The common reasons for surgical removal of a lipoma are aesthetic and symptomatic. A noticeable lump causing the skin to protrude can be bothersome to look at. Multiple ones or a very large one compound this problem. And, if there is a large one on your forehead, in plain view of the world, well… You know what your decision must be!

Sometimes, it is in a location that causes it to be symptomatic and problematic particularly if it is subjected to pressure or repeated trauma. For example, a very large lipoma of the back can cause discomfort when you lay down on your back such as in bed or lean back in a chair. Similar issues arise when they are in the legs and arms. Lipomas of the neck and thighs can become so large that they make it very difficult to fit into certain shirts and jeans.

Depending on the size, location, number, your age, anxiety level, etc., surgery can be performed either under local anesthesia, sedation (twilight anesthesia) or general anesthesia. The best approach for you would be determined at the time of your consultation.

For more questions regarding lipomas or for any plastic surgery procedure that I perform or to schedule your consultation, please call my office at 480-451-3000.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

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A Message Regarding Coronavirus/COVID-19

In light of the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to let you know of some of the major precautions we are taking in our office to maximize cleanliness and keep the environment as sanitary and safe as possible. Our highest priority is always to ensure the safety of every individual who sees us and we are taking extreme infection-control measures to maintain cleanliness and “sterility” of surfaces and the overall environment.

We will be limiting dates and times for office appointments and consultations due to safety and other issues. Consequently, if you have already made an office appointment or consultation prior to March 18, 2020 to occur at a later time, this may need to be changed.

For anyone considering plastic surgery, we are now offering Virtual Consultations and Telemedicine through Skype. A great number of aesthetic or insurance-related issues can be evaluated via pictures and online video conferencing, making this an excellent way to find out more about particular procedures, determine candidacy for treatment, receive answers to questions and facilitate being able to move forward with care once the government lifts all restrictions.

In an abundance of caution, we are asking all current patients who are experiencing a fever, cough, chills, fatigue or any type of respiratory illness to please delay any upcoming appointments at our practice. We can talk with you by phone or email to establish a new date and time for the appointment.

We are all in this together. Our team urges everyone to follow the guidelines recommended by local health authorities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which include frequent handwashing for a minimum of 20 seconds, social distancing, staying home if you are feeling sick, and contacting your healthcare provider if you feel you are experiencing symptoms.

For more information, please read our blog – Coronavirus and You: Important Information

For further updates, please check our blog.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us by phone or email.