Top Lipoma Removal Doctor in Los Angeles

LIPOMA REMOVAL

A lipoma is formed by a benign, non-cancerous accumulation of adipocytes (fat cells) underneath the skin.  The lipoma usually grows in size over the course of several years, but may begin to double in size at a faster rate as it gets larger and larger.  To most people, lipomas are a minor inconvenience, but to others, it represents a nuisance and becomes symptomatic, with a generalized symptom of pain or discomfort.
 
In rare cases, a lipoma begins to grow around or near a sensory nerve, causing pain and continuous discomfort.  The lipomatous growth can completely encase a nerve in rare occasions, making surgical excision difficult with a higher risk of permanent sensory debility.
At Kare Plastic Surgery, we specialize in minimal-scar lipoma removal that can safely remove a lipomatous mass underneath the skin with less scarring and longterm sequela. We are educated and trained in the management of lipomas which sets us apart from other centers. Schedule a consultation to discuss your options for minimal-scar lipoma removal by calling (310) 998-5533.
 

Treatment: 

Most lipomas can be removed by a surgical incision and meticulous dissection of the lipomatous growth.  The procedures are performed in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia, but more complicated lipomas that are deep or that have a calcified rim may require a more invasive procedure and deeper anesthesia techniques, including intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. The choice of whether to undergo the lipoma removal under anesthesia depends on your medical history, surgeon recommendations, and the need for deeper sedation. Most lipomas can be removed under local anesthesia. 
 
Recurrent lipomas are rare, but are known to occur as a result of inadequate dissection or an unknown cause. Recurrent lipomas are more difficult to treat as a result of scar tissue that forms around the mass.  Scar tissue may obscure the surgical planes and make the surgical dissection of the edges more difficult and cumbersome.

Schedule a comprehensive consultation with Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian at Kare Plastic Surgery + Skin Health Center in Santa Monica. Our patient care coordinators can help answer your questions about outpatient lipoma removal and insurance coverage for most PPO insurance plans. 
Lipoma Removal Techniques:

Dr. Karamanoukian often uses the well-documented and published technique for lipoma removal known as MIE, or minimal-incision-extraction technique, that minimizes scarring from lipoma removal. The procedure offers many advantages over elliptical excision or extirpation techniques in that the incisions are much smaller than expected. Most lipomas can be extracted with MIE because they are surrounded by a fine cellular layer that separates them from the surrounding tissue. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Karamanoukian for lipoma removal with MIE. The MIE technique was published in JAMA Dermatology and can be retrieved on pubmed. 
 
What is a lipoma? 
If you think that you have developed a lipoma, take a deep breath as it is one of the most common types of soft tissue tumors and is quite prevalent in normal, healthy adults. Scientists think that lipomas develop either in patients with a family history of lipomas (genetic) or as an isolated mass after soft tissue trauma. In either case, a true lipoma is benign and non-cancerous, posing minimal health risks. Once a lipoma is removed, it is sent to a pathologist who examines the mass and determines that it is indeed a fatty tumor composed of fat cells. 
 
What does a lipoma look like?
The development of lipomas can occur on any part of the body and often present as a small nodule or bump under the skin.  However, an experienced plastic surgeon or physician should examine the particular nodule to determine whether there is a likelihood of lipoma growth versus another type of tumor.  Lipomas have no malignant potential and are often safe to remove in the early stage or growth.  If the lipoma has shown a progression, it is prudent to perform early surgical removal of the lipoma to prevent any major surgical scarring.  A typical lipoma looks like a small nodule under the skin and can occur on the arms and legs, abdomen and back or scalp.  There are many other problems that can appear very similar to a lipoma, including a subcutaneous cyst. 
 
What are options for lipoma removal without surgery?
A lipoma is a benign growth of fat cells under the skin that can take months or years or develop.  Once a lipoma is noticed, it can have a slow growth phase or a fast growth phase depending on its unique characteristics.  Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian is an expert in lipoma removal and lipoma surgery using minimally invasive techniques including small incisions and minimized surgical dissection.  The options for lipoma removal include surgery and observation.  At this point in time, there are no nonsurgical options for lipoma removal that have become the standard of medical care.  The surgery for lipoma is usually performed on an outpatient basis using local anesthesia and minimal surgical dissection.  Dr. Karamanoukian can remove lipomas from the face, particularly on the forehead and scalp and the body and trunk.  The most common areas for lipoma growth are the arms and legs, abdomen, and forehead. 
 
Can multiple lipomas be removed?
It is unclear what causes a lipoma in the first place, but family history and genetic factors may predispose patients to multiple lipoma development.  Often, multiple lipomas can progress at varying intervals and rates.  Some lipomas may increase steadily overtime while others can present with rapid onset and development.  Multiple lipomas on the body and extremities can be removed using minimal surgery in order to decrease scarring and trauma to the skin.  Lipomas can be prioritized in terms of removal, wherein larger and more symptomatic lipomas are prioritized over slow growing and barely noticeable lipomas.

Dr. Karamanoukian is a board certified plastic surgeon in Los Angeles and can provide you with many options for lipoma removal during your consultation.  His primary goal for lipoma treatment is to minimize scarring and to reduce the chance of recurrence.  Consultation with Dr. Karamanoukian will include an examination and full exploration of available surgical options.  Lipomas can occur on the body as well as the scalp and face.
 
How is scarring with lipoma removal?
The extent of scarring with a lipoma removal surgery depends on the technique used for the initial incision as well as closure.  Different parts of the body will respond differently to an incision, wherein incisions on the joints and dynamic areas usually have more tension and thus have a more noticeable scarring.  During your consultation for lipoma surgery in Los Angeles with Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian, he will explore your options for surgery and scarring with your lipoma surgery.  There are many options and techniques used by Dr. Karamanoukian, a board certified plastic surgeon in Los Angeles to remove your lipoma with minimal scarring.  These techniques include pre and post operative skin treatments, laser treatment, and specific suturing techniques to minimize surgical attention and scarring.  Lipoma removal is often performed on an outpatient basis in an ambulatory surgery center and can be performed with minimal anesthesia or pain.
 
Should I be concerned if a lipoma is painful?
A lipoma can only be diagnosed by a pathologist once the specimen is removed and examined under the microscope.  Most subcutaneous nodules under the skin are lipomas and present no danger to a patient.  However lipomas can often involve dissemination into and around nerves causing pain and discomfort.  In addition specific changes in lipomas can cause pain and discomfort.  The first step in recognizing the dangers of the lipoma is to schedule a consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon who is knowledgeable about lipomas and lipoma removal.  Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian is a specialist in lipoma removal and cosmetic plastic surgery and can help you identify whether the nodule under your skin is a lipoma or another type of growth.  The presence of pain is an indication that the growth under the skin may be causing infringement of adjacent structures. 
 
Can trauma cause lipomas to growth?
It is unclear why patients develop lipomas on the extremities and scalp.  However it is thought that trauma and genetic influences can cause formation of lipomas and elicit growth in the subcutaneous adipose tissue.  Lipomas are fatty tumors that can occur on any part of the body, but more commonly along the arms and legs, abdomen, and scalp.  Forehead lipomas are often seen and can be removed without incident.  Trauma is associated with lipomas, but the main stay of treatment is proper diagnosis and surgery.  Dr. Karamanoukian performs minimally invasive removal of lipomas using precise and meticulous surgical technique.  If you are concerned about a lipoma and wish to have it removed, Dr. Karamanoukian can evaluate you growth and determine whether surgery or observation is the correct option.
 
Can a forehead lipoma be removed through a scalp or hairline incision?
Lipomas can occur on any part of the body and are often seen along the forehead and hairline.  The most common reasons to undergo lipoma removal include increase growth and noticeability.  Dr. Karamanoukian is a board certified plastic surgeon specializing in cosmetic plastic surgery and lipoma removal.  He emphasizes minimal scarring and can often direct an incision in a less noticeable area such as the hairline or scalp in order to remove the lipoma safely.  The benefits of minimal scar lipoma removal include less noticeability of the scar. 
 
Can lipomas recur or come back with time?
The recurrence of a lipoma is a possibility, even after extensive surgery.  This may occur because small amount of fatty cells can proliferate and cause recurrence of the lipoma.  The benefits of lipoma removal in the early stage of growth include a higher chance for complete excision, thereby decreasing the chance for recurrence of the lipoma.  In the early stages of growth, lipomas can be easily removed using small incisions, as they do not involve the surrounding tissue.  Once a lipoma begins to grow steadily, there may be involvements of underlying muscle or fascia, nerves, and blood vessels, leading to a higher chance of recurrence. 
 
If you have questions about lipoma removal or concerned about a lipomatous growth on your body or face, please call our Los Angeles plastic surgery patient care coordinator at 310-998-5533.  Our office will help you schedule a consultation with premier plastic surgeon Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian in our Los Angeles office.  Dr. Karamanoukian performs plastic surgery in both Santa Monica and Beverly Hills.
 

Mole Removal Options in Santa Monica

Our office also specializes in the removal of moles on the face and body. Skin moles can be discolored or skin-color, depending on the amount of pigment contained within the skin growth. Dr. Karamanoukian uses a combination of treatments, including surgery, laser excision, shave excision, punch excision, and hyfrecation to remove unwanted moles. In cosmetically-sensitive areas, mole removal with laser is usually ideal.