dx with a lipoma today, ever have one?

  1. Hi everyone.
    Just had a few questions. I noticed a lump the size of a walnut on my mid back next to my spine yesterday. It got me a little concerned, so I went to the doc today (who tried to talk me out of being a nurse but that's another post!) Anyway, she diagnosed me with a lipoma and told me to get it removed asap by a plastic surgeon (so it doesn't have as bad of a scar) because it will only get bigger. My concern is as to why she didn't take a biopsy of this tumor on my back? She's assuming it's benign, but what if it's malignent? My aunt who has breast cancer was diagnosed with a "benign" tumor in her breast a year ago . What advice can you all give me about this? Thanks! Louisepug
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   Genista
    Louisepug-
    I pm'd you.

    ~Kona
  4. by   suzanne4
    Lipomas do not necessarily grow and grow. I have several but quite small and they have never changed in size or shape over many years. The only way that I know that they are there is I can feel them.
  5. by   Loving Life
    My father had one the size of a football, had it removed and is fine. They did biopsy it and it's benign. I feel all should be biopsied. You can only be certain that way.
  6. by   CarolineRn
    Quote from Loving Life
    My father had one the size of a football, had it removed and is fine. They did biopsy it and it's benign. I feel all should be biopsied. You can only be certain that way.

    Is this also known as a "fatty tumor?" I had a pt in clinicals as a student who had one once, and nobody was concerned about it. No plans to have it removed, and yes, it was also on his back, not far from his spine.
  7. by   Loving Life
    Quote from CarolineRn
    Is this also known as a "fatty tumor?" I had a pt in clinicals as a student who had one once, and nobody was concerned about it. No plans to have it removed, and yes, it was also on his back, not far from his spine.
    It is a fatty tumor. His just got so big. They automatically biopsied it. I just get a little paranoid when they don't biopsy things like that because I know of an instance where something removed was not biopsied the first time, it came back and was cancerous.
  8. by   nurseunderwater
    I had one the size of lime removed from my back about 2 1/2 years ago...I have had no reoccurances or complications r/t the surgery...after they took it out they sent it to the pathology lab per protocol....no worries sweetie, i know it's weird and scary to have something in your body that doesn't belong....you'll do great! keep us posted. Kate
  9. by   EarthChild1130
    My hubby has a bunch of them, mostly on his arms and his abdomen, and the biggest one is maybe 2x2 cm...he has no problems with them...they've been biopsied, but his doc told him that unless he was worried about them from an aesthetic point of view, that removing them wouldn't be necessary...I know they scared the poo out of me when I first felt one of them!! (((Hugs)))
  10. by   CarolineRn
    Quote from Loving Life
    It is a fatty tumor. His just got so big. They automatically biopsied it. I just get a little paranoid when they don't biopsy things like that because I know of an instance where something removed was not biopsied the first time, it came back and was cancerous.
    Thanks LL, and I am in complete agreement that growths need to be biopsied. I remember thinking that in clinicals too, but neither my instructor, nor the pt and his family had any concern about it. If I ever got one, I would demand a biopsy! I'm with you on that!
  11. by   CarolineRn
    Quote from Louisepug
    so I went to the doc today (who tried to talk me out of being a nurse but that's another post!)
    ROFLMAO! Apparantly this Doc has no concept of a little thing called "a nursing shortage" Did she suggest you go into law instead? Too funny.
  12. by   Mimi2RN
    My husband has a bunch of lipomas, maybe 30 or 40. He has had a lot removed, if they have been getting uncomfortable because of position or size. Sometimes another one will grow really close to the same site, after he's had one removed. They have been anywhere from 1/8 to 1/2 " in diameter, and up to an inch or so long, sometimes intertwined. If you had as many as he has, you wouldn't want them all removed. They are on his arms, torso, and thighs. Any more, we don't have a biopsy done.

    I've heard of people having big lipomas removed, but that's different. I've also known of a couple of children having big ones removed, one 11 y/o had a lipoma about 5" long on his chest wall.

    Even my cat had one on her back close to her spine. I think I only noticed it because of the ones I've felt on my husband!
  13. by   Louisepug
    Thanks for all your replies everyone! Glad to know there are other lipoma targets out there like me! LOL! I'm not too worried anymore, but would still like a biopsy to be on the safe side. Oh, and btw, my doc was trying to talk me into being a PA or physician . I didn't ask for her opinion. Oh well, people love to give 'em. Hugs, Louisepug
  14. by   jemb
    I doubt that your doctor intended to imply that it not be biopsied. That can be done when it's removed.

    The only reason to biopsy it first would be if you were not certain you wanted to have the surgery, in which case the pathology report might help with your decision.

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