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lump on leg

    I have posted here before but needed some more info. I did see a surgeon yesterday about the soft lump on my leg. She said that it was soft and must be a lipoma. I asked her what I should do from here and she said that she could remove it but it was up to me.So basically I guess you cant be 100% sure unless it is removed? She said that she was typically a more cautious type of surgeon but didnt say you need to get this thing out asap. She told me to take my time deciding if I want it removed or not. So I need your opinion are lipomas easily diagnosed by sight alone? Can they be confused with other things? and if it were malignant would there be any other symptoms besides a soft lump that looks like a pillow? If it were to be just lipoma I would just leave it alone its hard to say what to do. Why would she leave it up to me to decide she is the surgeon? BW
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233190 tn?1278553401
Hello - thanks for asking your question.  

Of course, nothing is ever 100%.  There are certain key characteristics to lipomas that are highly suggestive.  The giveaway is that the bulge is soft and depresses when touched.  Less likely would be a liposarcoma - which would be cancerous.  However it is very rare.  If you are still anxious, you could insist on a biopsy which would give you the definitive result.  

If the diagnosis is a lipoma, they are typically not treated.  If they are in an aesthetically unpleasant location, or it is large enough to cause pain then it can be excised.  Options for removal include making an incision and surgically removing it, or liposuction.  

If the diagnosis is truly a lipoma it really does depend on you.  There is no hard and fast rule to remove them - it is entirely dependent on the patient and surgeon.  If you are unsure about the diagnosis, then a biopsy may be considered to confirm what you are dealing with.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
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