Minimally Invasive Lipoma Removal

Minimally Invasive Lipoma Removal

A lipoma is a benign lump that forms under the skin due to an overgrowth of fat cells. They are more commonly seen on the neck, back, shoulders, abdomen, arms and legs.

While lipomas can develop at any age and affect people of all genders, the following groups of people are found to have a higher risk:

  • Men between the ages of 40 and 60;
  • People with a family history of lipoma;
  • People with certain conditions, such as Madelung’s disease, Cowden syndrome, and Gardner syndrome.
lipoma removal
lipoma removal treatment

Lipomas are commonly found on the neck, back, shoulders, arms and legs.

Symptoms of Lipoma

Lipomas grow slowly and their early symptoms are not obvious. They are:

  • Round and encapsulated;
  • Soft, and move easily with slight finger pressure;
  • Generally small (less than 5 cm wide), but may grow over time;
  • Usually painless, unless they press on nearby nerves or blood vessels;
  • Uncomfortable and restrict movement if they grow in joints.

When to See a Doctor?

If you have a lipoma but it does not bother you, your doctor may recommend observation. Surgical removal should be considered if:

  • It causes cosmetic concerns;
  • Its symptoms affect your daily life;
  • It grows rapidly, feels hard or painful.

Lipoma vs Liposarcoma

In rare cases, a lump that looks like a lipoma may actually be a liposarcoma (a malignant tumour). They are generally larger, feels harder, and grow rapidly. If there is any doubt, your doctor may refer you for an MRI scan, a CT scan, or a biopsy to check it.


While lipomas are almost always harmless, if they cause cosmetic concerns or affect daily life, surgical removal should be considered.

Lipoma Removal Surgery

Surgical treatments of lipomas can be divided into “conventional approach” and “minimally invasive approach”:

Conventional ApproachMinimally Invasive Approach
ProcedureA linear incision is made over the lump, and the lipoma is completely removed.A tiny incision of about 3 to 5 mm is made to draw out the fatty tissue by liposuction. The capsule of the lipoma is then removed.
DurationApproximately 30 minutes on average
Wound SizeLargerSmaller
Risk of RecurrenceRoughly the same
Suitable ForPatients who are not particularly concerned about the post-operative appearance, since the surgery will leave a visible scar.The vast majority of patients, unless the lipoma cannot be diagnosed as benign, or it is not located under the skin.

Conventional lipoma removal involves a larger wound and will leave a visible scar.


The incision from minimally invasive lipoma removal is tiny and generally does not leave any scar.

* The images above are for reference only. The actual treatment outcomes depend on various factors.

Lipoma Removal Cost in Hong Kong

Lipoma is typically performed under local anesthesia at a day centre, unless the lipoma is too large and requires general anesthesia. As an outpatient procedure, the estimated costs are as follows (depending on the size of the lipoma and the complexity of the procedure):

  • Surgery fee and doctor’s fee: HKD5,000 to HKD20,000
  • Treatment room equipment fee: HKD2,000 to HKD3,000

If the procedure is performed in a hospital under general anesthesia, it generally costs more than twice the cost at a day centre.

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* All content in this website is for informational or educational purposes only. If in doubt, you should consult your doctor or other healthcare professionals.

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