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A lipoma is a lump made up of fat cells. It is most often found just under your skin on your shoulders, back, or neck, but can be found in other areas of your body. Multiple lipomas found in different areas of your body is called lipomatosis. Lipomas normally grow very slowly and rarely turn into cancer.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Blood tests:

You may need blood taken for tests. If you are having your lipoma removed, your caregiver may need to know how well your blood is clotting. He may also need to check your blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels. The blood can be taken from a blood vessel in your hand, arm, or the bend in your elbow.


  • Steroid injections: This is given as a shot into your lipoma to help it shrink.
  • Liposuction: During this procedure, your caregiver will use a syringe with a needle to remove your lipoma. He may also insert a scope and tools through a small incision. A scope is a thin, flexible tube with a light and tiny camera on the end. This may help him see and remove your lipoma.
  • Surgical removal: Your caregiver will remove your lipoma through an incision in your skin. Anesthesia medicine will be used to numb the surgery site. A drain may be put into your skin to remove extra blood or fluid from your surgery area. The incision may be closed with stitches and a bandage may cover your wound.


  • Treatment for your lipoma may cause pain, swelling, and bruising. Liposuction may cause dimpling or color changes in your skin. Surgical removal of your lipoma may cause a scar. With surgery, a seroma (pocket of fluid) may form in nearby tissue or organs. Your nerves may be damaged and cause numbness or tingling in your skin. Your muscles may also be injured, and you may bleed more than expected or get an infection. You may need to have more than one treatment for your lipoma. Even with treatment, your lipoma may not be completely removed, and it may increase in size again.
  • Without treatment, your lipoma may become large and painful. A lipoma in your bowel may block bowel movements. It may also injure nearby tissue causing a hemorrhage (heavy bleeding). Lipomas in your neck and throat may cause you to choke, have trouble breathing, and be life-threatening.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Lipoma (Inpatient Care)

Micromedex® Care Notes