Lipoma Removal

Lipoma Removal in NYC

What Is a Lipoma?

A lipoma is a subcutaneous localized overgrowth “tumor” of fatty tissue.  It is the most common soft tissue tumor, occurring in approximately 2 percent of the population. Its typical appearance is a skin-colored, subcutaneous, movable “lump” that has a rubbery texture.  Although biologically harmless, a lipoma can be problematic for people when it is painful or physically impedes with normal bodily movement. A common variant of a lipoma, known as an angiolipoma, can be tender due to its extensive blood vessel component.

Your doctor may simply recommend continued monitoring of the lipoma if it is not bothersome or noticeably changing in size. However, for lipomas that are painful or rapidly enlarging, surgical excision is recommended for therapeutic removal of the lesion and diagnostic testing.  Because lipomas are subcutaneous, diagnostic confirmation can only come through tissue analysis. A very rare cancerous counterpart, known as a liposarcoma, can also present as a subcutaneous “lump”, although liposarcomas are usually much larger and faster-growing.

NYC Lipoma Removal

During your consultation, Dr. Tzu will assess the size, depth, and location of your lipoma and go over how the surgery will be performed.  The surgery is an outpatient, in-office procedure. A local anesthetic is all that is needed for routine surgical cases and is injected within and around the operative site.  The skin is then carefully incised, and the tumor dissected from the adjacent tissue structure. The lipoma is removed, and the skin is sutured together with stitches. The procedure usually takes around 30 minutes to perform. Deeper and larger lipomas involve are more surgically complex and may take longer to remove.  Generally, however, patients are back on their feet and able to resume work the same day or next day, depending on where the surgery is performed on the body.

After the procedure, the excised tissue is always sent out for testing for diagnostic analysis.  This is performed to confirm that the clinical diagnosis of lipoma matches the microscopic diagnosis of lipoma.

The most common symptoms patients experience after lipoma surgery is a pain in the first few days, swelling, and mild bruising.  Pain, bruising, or swelling that persists or increases overtime needs to be brought to the attention of the surgeon.


At Wall Street Dermatology, we are fully prepared to help you guide you through your lipoma diagnosis and discuss surgical treatment options. Dr. Tzu is a double board-certified dermatologic surgeon who specializes in skin surgery and reconstruction.

If you find a lump or are experiencing pain due to what you think might be a lipoma, call us for an appointment. Although it may be scary, remember that lipomas are benign and can be safely removed via a simple in-office procedure.  We are here to help you through the entire process from diagnosis to follow up and be here to answer all your questions and concerns.

After Care

A pressure dressing is applied immediately after lipoma surgery and should be left on for 48 hours, after which simple dressings can be applied until suture removal. Written postoperative instructions will also be given to you.  Physical activity is to be avoided in the first two weeks after surgery. A follow-up visit for suture removal takes place in 1-2 weeks after surgery.

Lipoma surgery is a highly effective method for the treatment of lipomas with a success rate of over 90 percent. Set up a consultation with us today, and let us help guide you through the process.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lipoma Removal in NYC

How long does it take to recover from Lipoma removal?

Normal office work can be resumed the same or next day. Exercise should be avoided for two weeks to prevent tearing of the stitches.

How much does it cost to remove a lipoma?

Because lipomas are benign growths, insurance may or may not cover the cost of lipoma removal. While costs can vary, it may start at $1000 upwards, depending on the size and location of the lipoma.

Is Lipoma removal painful?

The procedure itself is typically painless.  Patients may experience some postoperative discomfort in the first one to three days after surgery.

How do I know if my lipoma is cancerous?

Any rapidly growing or painful “lump” in the skin should be further evaluated, and diagnostic testing performed.

How do you tell the difference between a lipoma and a cyst?

There are some clues dermatologists use to differentiate between a cyst versus a lipoma. Lipomas are typically rubbery to feel, whereas cysts are not. Cysts may become inflamed and drain, where lipomas will not.  Sometimes, the distinction is only made upon examination of the excised growth or microscopic analysis.

What causes lipomas to grow?

No one really knows the answer to this question, but it is likely a combination of genetics and the environment.

Call Wall Street Dermatology to schedule a consultation with us today.

Dr. Julia Tzu

Dr. Julia Tzu is a double board certified dermatologist who specializes in Mohs and reconstructive skin surgery, laser surgery, and cosmetic dermatology. She is one very few dermatologists in the world who has devoted additional years of formalized fellowship training in both Mohs surgery as well as dermatopathology, making her amongst the most highly trained and elite dermatologists.


Wall Street Dermatology: Julia Tzu, MD
Phone: 212-931-0538
65 Broadway, Ste 904
New York, NY 10006


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