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You have noticed a lump (or even several ones) just underneath your skin – maybe of your arms, legs, back, chest or even forehead – and are not sure how long it has been there. Perhaps, it has been there for several years but you just ignored it until now. However, it seems to be far more noticeable, might have significantly increased in size or maybe it is causing you discomfort when there is overlying pressure.

On feel, it has a somewhat doughy consistency – a little firm but not hard and there may be some irregularities in contour. It is not associated with redness or drainage in the area.

Based on this description, there is a good chance that what you have is a lipoma though there are other possibilities that may need to be considered. A good way for you to find out exactly what this mass represents is to be evaluated by your primary care doctor.

You go see your doctor who proceeds to tell you that you have a lipoma – an extremely common, benign fatty growth that can increase in size but does not degenerate into a malignancy. He/she explains that there is nothing to worry about but you can have it removed if so desired.

Now what do you do?

Because a lipoma is a benign growth with essentially a zero malignant potential, there should be no worry that it will become cancerous at a later date. Therefore, its routine removal based on the potential to become malignant is not justified.

However, there are three great reasons to have them removed. These are:

Lipoma from forehead

Lipoma from neck

Lipoma from back

Lipoma from back

If you have decided to have your lipoma removed or are not entirely sure what you want to do but need more answers, your best bet is to consult with a reputable board certified plastic surgeon who commonly treats lipomas. He/she should be able to provide you with all the information needed to make an informed decision – one way or another.

And if you do elect to proceed with surgery, who else could you possibly want to have remove your lipoma than an experienced board certified plastic surgeon?

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

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