While not a particularly sexy topic, a lipoma is something that a lot of Americans experience. A lipoma is a fatty mass that can occur anywhere on the body. While it’s technically a tumor, no one refers to it that way because tumor conjures thoughts of cancer. And a lipoma is typically a very benign, non-cancerous process.
Where does it come from?
A lipoma can come from anywhere or nowhere! It just shows up one day and grows slowly to the point that you wake up one morning and notice it for the first time. However, there is some suggestion that a lipoma results from a previous trauma. The trauma doesn’t have to be particularly significant. Maybe you were accidentally hit in the arm by a door. Or a stroller bumped into your leg. A seemingly minor traumatic event can cause the body to form a lipoma as a way of protecting itself from a future injury in that same area.
What can you do about it?
If a lipoma is small and not having a significant effect on your life, you don’t have to do anything about it. However, if it begins to hurt or is growing large enough to become noticeable, then it’s reasonable to have it removed. This can be a very minor procedure. If it is small enough, the procedure can be done under local anesthesia. Something larger may require additional anesthesia but probably not general anesthesia.
How much will it cost to get it removed?
If you have a high deductible health plan and have a lipoma removed at a hospital, I guarantee that it will cost the amount of your entire deductible, whatever the deductible is! The highest out-of-pocket deductible offered by insurance companies right now is about $6500. A hospital is so expensive, I guarantee it will cost you that much. However, an outpatient surgery center or surgeon’s private operating room will be less. In my practice, you can check pricing here. For a typical lipoma, the cost of removal in an operating room with light sedation will cost about $2,880, everything included except pathology expenses. As mentioned earlier, a lipoma is usually non-cancerous but if you want to be absolutely sure, your doctor can send the specimen to the pathologist for you, and you will receive a separate bill from that doctor.
Hope that helped.