Lipomas are benign tumors consisting of a concentration of fat and are usually found in the subcutaneous tissue just under the skin. Lipomas can appear at any age but most commonly appear between the ages of 30-50. A person can have one or multiple lipomas. Women are more likely to develop single lipomas than men, while men are more likely to develop multiple lipomas.
Lipomas appear as a mass under the skin that grows slowly, 2-10cm in size. They are soft and smooth in texture and move easily with the pressure of the fingers.
Although they can appear all over the human body, they are more often found in the following areas:
Lipomas are usually asymptomatic. Most of the time they are not noticed by patients until they become bigger. In these cases, they cause cosmetic deformity to the patient, while increasing in size, they can begin to press on nearby nerves, causing a feeling of pressure and pain. One type of lipoma, angiolipoma, has increased vascularity and cause more pain than simple lipomas.
Even today, the causes of lipomas are not fully known. It is believed that heredity and genetic predisposition plays a particularly important role in the formation of lipomas. There are also some rare diseases that are related to the appearance of lipomas. These are :
Dercum’s disease (multiple painful lipomas appear)
The diagnosis of lipoma is usually performed by clinical examination by an experienced General Surgeon. In some cases a soft tissue ultrasound scan of the area may be needed and in rare cases an MRI scan of the area.
The treatment of lipomas is exclusively surgical. Lipomas are benign tumors and cannot turn into cancer. Therefore, small lipomas that do not cause symptoms and do not bother the patient cosmetically do not need to be removed.
In the remaining cases, surgical removal is recommended. The removal of lipomas (except in cases of particularly large lipomas) is carried out under local anesthesia in the doctor’s office. Surgical removal is performed either with a scalpel or with the use of a laser. The use of laser has many advantages as it is a minimally invasive method with a better cosmetic result. No hospitalization time is required and the patient immediately returns to his activities.
I have a mass under the skin in one part of my body, is it lipoma?
Not necessarily. There are other conditions with a similar appearance (sebaceous cyst, lymph node, etc.). You should be reviewed by a General Surgeon
I have been diagnosed with lipoma. Should I remove it?
If the lipoma is small and does not cause us any discomfort or does not bother us cosmetically, then its removal is not necessary
Can I get cancer from lipoma?
Lipoma can never cause cancer. But it must be emphasized that a different type with similar characteristics, liposarcoma, leads to the creation of cancer. Liposarcoma is fortunately rare, it usually occurs deeper than simple lipoma and its most common location is in the thigh and groin.
What is the best method of lipoma removal?
Lipomas are surgically removed with the use of a laser being number one choice as it has a better cosmetic result
What kind of anesthesia do I need and where does the operation take place?
In the vast majority of cases, the removal is done in the doctor’s office under local anesthesia and the patient immediately returns to his daily routine
How much does it cost to remove a lipoma?
The cost of the operation is relatively small as the whole procedure is carried out in the doctor’s office and the cost of the clinic is avoided
If I remove it, can it reappear in the same place?
In case of complete removal without leaving a residue then it will not reappear in the same place