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Molly Maloof, MD

Director of Clinical Content


what happens if you don't have a lipoma surgically removed
  • Female | 78 years old
  • Medications: I take atenolol for HBP
  • Conditions: No

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Featured Answer

2 UpVoted this answer
Lipoma is a benign fatty tumor that are usually slow growing. They can carry some malignant potential, which could only be definitively evaluated if removed. Lipomas are masses, so the larger they are the more mass or space they take up and the more compression of the surrounding tissue. Plastic surgery or plastic surgeons can remove these with an incision, though liposuction has been applied for larger superficial masses.
1 UpVoted this answer
Generally speaking, lipomas do not need to be removed unless they are causing some sort of a problem. Occasionally lipomas can become uncomfortable or unsightly and that is what prompts some patients to have them removed. A small percentage of lipomas can undergo malignant degeneration so if you have any questions about your lipoma I would encourage you to get it checked out.
1 UpVoted this answer
It will continue to grow and be harder to remove later
Alex Senchenkov
1 UpVoted this answer
So the diagnosis of 'lipoma' can only be made 100% by having a piece of the tissue and looking at it under the microscope (pathology). Having said that if your tumor is followed by your doctor and the impression is that it is a benign growth (meaning not suspicious for cancer), you are probably OK to observe it. During observation it could continue to grow slowly or do nothing at all. It is not likely that it will go away on its own. If it changes at all, you should have it removed to make sure you know what it is 100%.
the lipomas grow slowly, basically if you do not remove it it will continue growing up and it will be harder to remove it later and the scar will be larger, please take in consideration that some of the lipomas even knowing is just a fat deposit sometime they can be potential malignant, i do suggest to get an appoitment with your doctor and get it removed.
Mario Alfonso Gonzalez Cepeda
If you truly have a lipoma, it will slowly grow with time. At your age, this "bump" which other doctors have diagnosed as a lipoma will be with you until it is surgically removed.
They only get bigger over time. It is easiest to remove when they are small --- grape sized. When they start to approach an orange it is more extensive. Usually they are slow growing and benign, but if in doubt they should be removed. Usually it's done under local anesthesia in a certified OR -- which can be in a doctors office.
Assuming the diagnosis is truly a lipoma, then the lipoma could stay the same size or could enlarge over time. If there is enlargement, then consider having it removed. Talk with your physician about the best option(s) to address the issue.
Ravinder Jarial
Typically the lipoma continues to slowly grow. The larger it gets the larger the incision needed to remove it completely. Liposuction of the lipoma is still controvertial.
Lipomas generally have no real consequence by not removing them except the way it looks. If it is in an obvious place or is something that bothers you, lipomas are also relatively simple procedures that can be done at any age. The rare exception to the above is a condition in which the lipoma grows rapidly and changes character which create concern about lipsarcoma. Rare, but quite serious they tumors have serious health consequences. So... if it is changing or growing rapidly, it should be removed.