Lipomas and cysts aren’t typically dangerous, but they can cause pain and make those who have them feel self-conscious. These lumps, which usually occur on the face, armpits, neck, back, or chest, are similar in many ways, but cysts are fluid-filled, and lipomas consist of fatty tissue.
At the practice of Ali Hendi, MD, in Chevy Chase, Maryland, our skin cancer specialists remove lipomas and cysts in ways that help keep scarring to a minimum. In this blog, they explain the process of removing lipomas and cysts.
Removing lipomas and cysts
While the procedures to remove lipomas and cysts differ, the treatments are usually minimally invasive and done in an outpatient setting. In both cases, most people only need local anesthesia to numb the treatment area. However, your provider might recommend sedation if your lipoma or cyst is in a sensitive area or especially large.
The procedure for lipoma removal is similar to liposuction. First, your provider makes an incision. Then your provider removes the fatty tissue using a suctioning technique. Lipomas seldom return after removal.
For cysts, your provider can either puncture and drain the fluid or remove it surgically through an incision. While surgery is most likely to prevent the recurrence of a cyst, you may need stitches.
Preparing for lipoma or cyst removal
Prior to your lipoma or cyst removal, your provider will go over your preparation steps. These steps often involve:
- Washing the treatment area with antibacterial soap
- Not shaving in the treatment area
- Skipping ACE inhibitor blood pressure medications the day of your procedure
- Not using blood thinners besides aspirin for a designated period
Your doctor will provide specific instructions about medications, so be sure to discuss your full medical history, including any medications and supplements you take. If you’re going to be sedated for your procedure, you may need to fast for about 6 hours beforehand.
Recovering from lipoma or cyst removal
After your lipoma or cyst is removed, you may experience some discomfort for a few days in the treatment area. And if the cyst or lipoma is located in your scalp, you may experience tension headaches.
Symptoms can usually be managed by taking over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, for 1-3 days. You can also apply ice periodically as directed by your provider. You should also avoid intense exercise for about a week as your surgical wound heals.
From there, you should be able to go on with your life as usual, devoid of the discomfort of the lipoma or cyst. And because we use minimally invasive techniques, scarring should be minimal.
If you want a lipoma or cyst removed, we can help. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Ali Hendi, MD, today.