Editor’s note: This story contains spoilers and graphic images of skin conditions.
On episode 2 of season 3 of “Dr. Pimple Popper,” Dr. Sandra Lee treats a boy with a large brown birth mark who is teased and called “poop neck, a man with a large finger growth, and, perhaps most notably, a woman with an orange-sized lump on the back of her left thigh.
Leta, a 50-year-old woman from Montgomery, Alabama, said she first noticed the lump 10 years ago, but then, it was about the size of a grape.
Unfortunately, the lump grew to the size it is now, and Leta, whose last name wasn’t disclosed, said the growth is “inconvenient to say the least.”
During the episode, Leta walked viewers through her morning routine, during which she took great measures to conceal her lump. She first covered it in medical tape to secure it in place, and then put on Spanx shorts before finally putting on her dress. Even her fiancé hadn’t seen the lump prior to the episode.
“There are a lot of days I’d rather just stay in bed,” she said.
Leta wanted to get the lump removed before her wedding
In addition to fixing the day-to-day discomfort Leta felt because of her lump (she told Dr. Lee she had to sit on it because of its placement), she also wanted it removed before her upcoming wedding day.
Leta said she was engaged to a man named James whom she met in church. The couple isn’t having sex before they’re married and, in the episode, Leta showed James her lump for the first time. He told her he still loved her, but understood why she wanted it removed.
Leta said she’d postpone her wedding if she couldn’t have the growth removed before the planned date. “I don’t want to go into a marriage feeling like a half person,” she said. Leta didn’t say on the episode whether or not she’d visited other health professionals before turning to Dr. Lee.
Dr. Pimple Popper identified the lump as a lipoma and treated it right away
After examining the lump, Dr. Lee diagnosed it as a lipoma, a fat-filled growth that sits in the space between a person’s muscle and skin, according to the Mayo Clinic. While it’s unclear what causes lipomas, it’s likely at least partly genetic. Fortunately, the lumps are not cancerous and usually harmless, the Mayo Clinic says.
To treat the lipoma, Dr. Lee first numbed the area with a local anesthetic, then punctured the lipoma with a sharp surgical tool. Immediately, the lump made a spurting and squeaking sound, and a white liquid and blood started to ooze out of it.
Once the lipoma was opened, Dr. Lee used her hands to remove the fibers inside of it, essentially draining the massive lump. After all of the fat and fibers were removed, Dr. Lee stitched up the incision to finish her work.
Following the procedure, Leta appeared visibly happier, less self-conscious, and ready for her big wedding day.
Watch the pimple-packed trailer for season 3 below. You can also watch previous episodes of the “Dr. Pimple Popper” series on the app and at TLC’s website. New episodes of “Dr. Pimple Popper” air every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST on TLC.