Lipomas are soft, fatty lumps that grow under your skin. They’re harmless and do not usually need any treatment.

How do they present?

Lipomas are common and can occur anywhere in the body.


  • feel soft
  • can be anything from the size of a pea to a few centimetres across
  • may move slightly under your skin if you press them
  • are not usually painful
  • grow slowly

Do they need investigation?

Most lipomas are easily identified from clinical examination. They are usually present for many years and are slow-growing. In rare cases lumps under your skin can be more serious. If the lump is fixed, and hard and has increased in size your GP will order an ultrasound scan.

As lipomas are harmless they do not need treatment. They can be removed for cosmetic purposes or if they are causing discomfort or pain.

What does the operation entail?

Most lipomas can be removed under local anaesthetic. An incision is made over the lump and it is dissected free from the surrounding tissue. Sometimes lipomas as demonstrated in the case illustrated lie under the muscle. The wound is then closed with absorbable sutures.

Lipoma removal

  • Anaesthetic : Local Anaesthetic (Large Lipomas may need a General Anaesthetic)
  • Operative time : 45 – 60 minutes
  • Hospital Stay : Day Case
  • Time off work : none
  • Recovery Time : 1 week

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