I have a painless 1 inch liopoma on my left forearm and 4 small ones about 1 cm each on my left arm.
I want these removed and want to know how much out will cost me.
I am a healthy adult male.
Thank you for the inquiry! The cost depends on many factors, and without seeing you in consultation that question actually cannot be answered. What would occur during a consultation: 1- confirm that indeed what you have are likely multiple lipomas and not something else 2- what method of removal is used (excisions versus liposuction, and if excisions how many separate incisions) 3-what type of anesthesia (local injection, or local with sedation) 4- if you have insurance and if so, if insurance will cover part or all of the costs 5- if you have insurance to pay for pathology or are paying out of pocket (since the mass will be sent to make sure it is a lipoma and does not have any cancer or other abnormality) 6- fee for the procedure room or instruments. The cost also covers your followup visits and dressing changes for a certain amount of time. Even if you had a very low surgeons fee, there are also fees for the procedure room and instruments used, and fee for any pathology specimens. Many surgeons, myself included, offer complimentary cosmetic consultations so that you can get information, and detailed pricing, without having to pay for the information or commit to surgery. While it’s frustrating from a patient perspective, it’s kind of like saying I would like a 4 bedroom house- how much will this cost me? There are too many variables to give a blind quote.
If all the lipomas on the forearm are relatively accessible they can usually be done under local anesthesia as an office procedure. Certainly rates for different plastic surgeons vary but if most of the lesions are small and office surgery is possible your likely cost is in the $800 to $1000 range. Of course, this is a “guess” based on the information provided. For a totally accurate cost estimate you should see a plastic surgeon in your area. The actual cost may be less or more depending on your specific circumstances. Hope this helps!
J. Wethe, M.D.
It is possible to remove lipomas with liposuction — but doing so destroys the tissue in the process so you cannot have a definitive diagnosis. The alternative way is to cut each one out as a solid piece of tissue, which can then be sent to the laboratory for pathological diagnosis.
Obviously, costs will be less with liposuction. This can be discussed with your surgeon. Insurance may or may not cover the procedure — it depends on your policy. If the liposuction method is used, then definitely the insurance company will deem it “cosmetic” and not pay for the surgery.
You should also investigate whether this is part of Dercum’s Disease (Google it), which is multiple lipomas on a patient.
Elliot W. Jacobs, MD, FACS
New York City
Technically, by the CPT codes used, this can be a pricey endeavor. Best to simply schedule a consultation with a local doctor and get something in writing so you have an idea of what costs are and then you can contact other surgeons offices for non-binding estimates and when you find one that interests you, schedule a consultation there. These can be removed with liposuction (no pathology) or excision (trading bumps for scars) and since cosmetic, you can negotiate with your surgeon if you’re up for that.
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