Lipoma (Removed)

A lipoma is a growth made of fatty tissue. It's not cancer (benign). It looks like a soft lump, often less than 2 inches across. A lipoma may be removed (excised) because you don’t like how it looks. Or it may be removed if it is painful or growing. A lipoma is made of fat cells. But it is not linked to diet. And it doesn't mean that you're overweight.

Home care

The following guidelines will help you care for your wound:

  • Keep the wound clean and dry. If a bandage was applied and it gets wet or dirty, replace it. Otherwise, leave it in place for the first 24 hours. Then change it once a day or as directed.

  • If stitches (sutures) were used, clean the wound daily:

    • After removing the bandage, wash the area with soap and water. Use a cotton swab to loosen and remove any blood or crust that forms.

    • After cleaning, apply a thin layer of petroleum ointment. Or your healthcare provider may advise an antibiotic ointment. This will keep the wound clean and make it easier to remove the stitches. Reapply the bandage.

    • You may shower as normal after the first 24 hours. But don’t soak the area in water (no baths or swimming) until the stitches are removed.

  • If surgical tape closures were used, keep the area clean and dry. If the area gets wet, pat it dry with a towel. After the surgical tape closures have been removed, it's safe to go back to your normal activities.

  • You may use over-the-counter pain medicine to control pain, unless another medicine was given. Talk with your provider before using these medicines if you have long-term (chronic) liver or kidney disease. Also talk with them if you've ever had a stomach ulcer or digestive tract bleeding.

Follow-up care

Most skin wounds heal in 10 days. But an infection may sometimes occur, even with correct treatment. Check the wound daily for the signs of infection listed below. Stitches should be taken out in 7 to 14 days. You may have surgical tape closures. If these have not fallen off after 7 days, you can remove them yourself unless you were told otherwise.

When to get medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Pain in the wound gets worse

  • Redness, swelling, or pus coming from the wound

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as advised by your provider

  • Stitches come apart or fall out, or surgical tape falls off before 5 days

  • The wound edges reopen

  • Numb feeling that doesn’t go away by the time stitches are removed

© 2000-2022 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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