LONG STANDING SUPERFICIAL MASS LEFT THIGH
LIPOMA VERSUS SEBACEOUS (DERMAL) CYST
“Lumps and bumps” are very common reasons patients come to my office. They may have removal recommended by their primary physician or dermatologist, but the main reason these patients come to me are either the size of the mass or concern about cosmetic and final appearance of the scar.
The patient to the right has had an enlarging mass over his left lateral thigh for the past twelve years. He has never had an infection, and the main reason for his visit was that the lesion was painful to sit on. On examination, patient had a large, 5cm wide by 7cm long, superficial mass on the left thigh which was easily mobile. The bottom portion of the skin was thinner than the upper portion, showing signs of early vascular compromise from pressure placed on the skin during sitting. I recommended removal of the lesion as soon as possible due to concern with skin viability.
Please watch the video below, before reading further. If you have a weak stomach, you may want to watch this on an empty stomach!
My initial diagnosis for this mass was a lipoma, which is an abnormal growth of NORMAL fat cells. Although this is considered a tumor, it is NOT cancerous. However, as the video shows, the patient had a sebaceous (dermal) cyst. Usually, an ingrown hair or minor trauma causes normal skin cells to be “dragged” under the patient’s own skin. The skin still produces new cells, but the dead skin cells have no place to go and this pile of dead skin will accumulate and enlarge. I am amazed, given the time and the size of the mass, the patient had never had an infection. He was very lucky!
Michael A. Jazayeri, M.D. is a board certified plastic surgeon with over 12 years of experience. His office is located in Orange County, California. To schedule a complimentary consultation, please call 714-834-0101.