How to Remove Lipoma

Nidhi Nangia
By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: August 2, 2020
How to Remove Lipoma

Lipoma is a fatty tissue growth developing slowly between the skin and the layer of muscle underneath. When you touch it, it often feels like dough due to the way you can press it lightly with your finger. Irrespective of age or gender, anyone can have a lipoma, but it is rarely seen in children. Although it can form on any body part, but it is most commonly seen on the neck, back, shoulders, arms, thighs or abdomen. Even though lipoma is classified as a tumor, it is often harmless. There is no need to remove it, unless it becomes painful or bothers you beyond your tolerance. oneHOWTO show you what we know about how to remove lipoma with or without surgery.

You may also be interested in: A Hard Lump Behind The Ear: Possible Causes


  1. Is Lipoma harmful?
  2. Lipoma removal with surgery
  3. Liposuction
  4. Natural remedies for removing lipoma
  5. Lifestyle changes

Is Lipoma harmful?

Lipoma is a very common benign tumor which many people develop at some point of their life (about 2% of the population). It usually does not hurt, but it may cause pain if it bumps against a nearby nerve. It may also become a painful condition if a blood vessel runs through it. Some people decide to get it removed if it causes serious cosmetic problems, especially if it located on the neck and other visible areas of the body. Therefore, if you notice a lump under your skin, it is better to get it checked by a doctor.

Professionals will be able to decide whether it is a lipoma is benign something more serious that needs treatment. Rarely, lipoma may form inside your body, such as in your muscle or an internal organ. If a lump is painful or if it affects your muscles, then you need to get it removed.

In extremely rare cases, a lump may form a cancer type called liposarcoma. It grows at a rapid rate and is quite painful. If your physician suspects this cancer, you will need to get it diagnosed and treated professionally. Lipomas which measure more than 5 cm in a single dimension should be removed due to the potential for malignancy[1].

Lipoma removal with surgery

Removal of lipoma with surgery requires local anaesthesia and is often performed within 30 minutes. However, it largely depends on the number of lumps and their size. In most cases, a superficial lipoma is removed for cosmetic reasons, requiring a cosmetically acceptable incision. The surgeon places the incision directly over the lump and orients it in such a way that it gets hidden by natural wrinkles and creases of the skin.

After making the incision, doctors dissect away the fatty tissue carefully. Sometimes, they may also use the press and squeeze method to drag out the fatty tissue contents. Once they remove the lipoma completely from your skin, they meticulously close it using sutures.They will then be removed after 1-2 weeks of recovery period. Complete removal of all the fat cells is important, otherwise it may re-grow on the same site. Since the location and size of the lipomas vary from one case to the other, the surgeon will be able to discuss the right surgical method for you after examining the lump of fatty tissue.


Liposuction is a minimally invasive method which involves removal of the fatty tissue lump by making a tiny incision at the site. The surgeon may even decide to place the incision in a remote hidden site. Liposuction is more commonly used for removal lipomas on the face and other visible areas. The aim is to obtain a cosmetically favorable look that can be achieved by making an incision at a hidden location.

Although liposuction can be used for removing medium and large sized lipomas, residual fat cells can be left behind after the procedure. Due to this, chances remain that the lipoma may re-grow at the same site. Even if it is a large lipoma, the growth contents can be vacuumed from the site through a tiny incision. Laser removal is also an option which has been considered, but the incisions are often large and may not be suitable for every case.

How to Remove Lipoma - Liposuction

Natural remedies for removing lipoma

There are claims that using natural remedies might be able to help treat lipoma and result in their removal. These home remedies include:

  • Herbal and natural oil treatment: natural oils like neem oil and flaxseed oil are a great base for making ointments. Being a natural astringent, neem oil provides protection to your skin. Many ayurvedic formulations to treat lipomas also contain neem oil. Flaxseed oil is rich in omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, both of which can reduce inflammation. Flaxseed oil needs to be free from heavy metals like mercury and lead. While green tea is not a natural oil, it is also used for making ointments. It has a high antioxidant level and is thought to be helpful in regulating blood fats and blood sugar.
  • Turmeric: turmeric is also used in ayurvedic medicine as it is rich anti-inflammatory properties.

However, there is little to no scientific evidence to support these products removing lipomas, especially larger ones. As the build up is under skin, there is little which can be done without surgical removal. Ultrasound technology has been considered as a way to treat lipoma without having to break the skin, with some positive results[2]. However, full removal is not always possible and it can be an expensive procedure.

Lifestyle changes

While there is little conclusive evidence to support the efficacy of natural remedies, prevention of lipoma can be helped naturally. There is also little knowledge of what actually causes lipoma, but it is believed to be related to diet and obesity. This is why living a healthy lifestyle can have a positive impact on lipoma.

Switch to organic foods, and watch out for additives and preservatives that go into your system. Limit the amount of pre-packaged, processed food and increase your fruits and vegetables consumption. Choose a variety of bright colored foods for your diet, especially the ones that have high antioxidant level, such as apples, blueberries, greens, bell peppers, citrus fruits etc. Increase the amount of fish you eat, as they contain good quality protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Some of the healthiest varieties are tuna, salmon, herring, mackerel, trout etc. Avoid reliance on too many carbohydrates and sugars.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Remove Lipoma, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

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1 comment
sylvester morrison
i have a big lipoma on my neck, surgery is very expensive
Is there any other way of removing it
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Sylvester,

We have provided some potential ways to help reduce the lipoma, but there is nothing as effective as surgery. Diet and lifestyle seem to be mitigating factors and changing these is cheap, if also difficult. If you have had it checked out and are sure it is a lipoma (therefore benign), then it won't cause any other harm than a cosmetic one. This means you can have time to save if you wish, but it is up to you how important is its removal.
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How to Remove Lipoma