Annoying, Harmless, Treatable
What are Lipomas?
A Lipoma is a lump of fatty cells or tissue that is usually slow-growing and often presents between the layers of your skin and the underlying muscle tissue. Their cause is unknown. although genetic factors appear to play a role in their development.
Lipomas do not usually cause much (if any) discomfort or tenderness, unless they are pressing on a nerve or blood vessel. They will feel spongy and move easily when slight finger pressure is applied. Lipomas are most prevalent in middle-aged people (40-60 year olds), though they can occur at any age,
A Lipoma is typically harmless, and they are not usually associated with cancer, except in very rare cases where they can indicate a form of cancer called Liposarcoma.
Lipomas can occur anywhere in the body but usually occur in the thighs, back, abdomen, shoulders, arms or neck. People that have a Lipoma can often have more than one. They are usually situated just under the skin, and not usually much larger than 5 cm in diameter. Lipomas are usually painless unless situated in an area where pressure is consistently applied due to sitting or in an area where activity may cause movement. They can also become painful if they press on nerves, become too large, or contain too many blood vessels.
Unlike Lipomas, Liposarcomas (cancer of fatty tissue) are usually hard to the touch, do not move under the skin and are painful.
Lipomas are not a serious medical condition, but if you notice a lump or swelling anywhere on your body you should consult your doctor in all cases.
Certain disorders, including persons with adiposis dolorosa, Cowden syndrome, and Gardner’s syndrome have an increased risk of multiple Lipomas. They also run in families which indicates a genetic factor.
Your doctor will perform a physical exam, or may refer you to a dermatologist. This may be followed by a biopsy, or tissue removal, for lab examination. Imaging tests like an ultrasound, CT scan or an MRI may be ordered if the lump is suspicious. Imaging tests will always be ordered if your doctor suspects Liposarcoma.
Lipomas can be easily and safely removed through minor surgery.
Ask your physician for a referral to LaserMedica for safe and effective removal of your Lipomas.