Photo: Han Ye Seul/Instagram 

South Korean actress Han Ye Seul who is best known for her role in productions like “Birth of a Beauty” and “Madame Antoine: The Love Therapist” recently went under the knife to remove lipoma from her torso under her left armpit, unfortunately, the electric knife had cut through her skin during the operation, resulting in an oval-shaped scar.

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The surgical mishap

According to a release from her surgeon from CHA Gangnam Medical Centre, Dr Lee, he suggested doing the procedure underneath her skin to minimise scarring as she was an actress, but the mishap resulted in a prominent scar.

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After it happened, the hospital tried to stitch the area but some areas of the skin wouldn’t adhere so they called in a burn specialist who suggested that it’s best to let the area heal before starting the treatment. The actress has since been transferred to a hospital that specialises in the rehabilitation of burned skin and the hospital has assured the actress that they will compensate her and help her to recover through cosmetic surgery.


What exactly are lipomas?

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Lipomas are benign (non-cancerous) tumours composed of fat tissue. They are soft (about 0.4 to 1.2 inches), small and usually painless but can enlarge gradually over time. Sometimes, the lumps can get infected and may need to be removed via surgery. These rubbery lipomas can occur in all age groups, especially in middle age. They can be found most often on the torso, neck, upper thighs, upper arms and armpits, but they can develop almost anywhere on the body.


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While there is no one conclusive cause of lipomas, it has been said to be hereditary. Also, a minor injury can also trigger the growth on a particular area of skin.


Diagnosis and removal procedure

A lipoma can usually be diagnosed by its appearance alone and a health professional may recommend removing it to make sure the growth is non-cancerous. Such procedures are conducted in the doctor’s office or outpatient surgery centre. The surgeon will start by injecting a local anaesthetic around the lipoma before making an incision in the skin to remove the growth. The incision will then be closed with stitches (sutures). For lipomas that are in areas of the body that cannot be reached through an incision, they may need to be removed in the operating theatre under general anaesthesia.  


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The above medical information is from the Singhealth website, Tan Tock Seng Hospital website and the Singapore Sports and Orthopedic Surgeon website.