Lipoma Removal

Defined as a fatty lump that sits beneath the skin but above the muscle later, a lipoma is slow growing and not cancerous, but for some people, Lipoma removal may be the right choice for them.

What is a Lipoma?

A Lipoma is found in the area between the skin and the muscle and often has a texture that is almost doughy to the touch. Lipomas can be moved under the skin with the use of pressure from the fingers, and sometimes more than one may appear at the same time. Lipoma removal can be performed to get rid of these fatty lumps.

Often, Lipomas are diagnosed when the patient reaches middle age, as they are more likely to appear at this time. Treatment is often not a requirement for this condition, as the lump itself isn’t cancerous and is unlikely to be painful. However, Lipoma in certain areas may become irritating to the patient. In rare cases, Lipoma may become painful or continue to grow over time.

Lipomas can be present anywhere in the body and typically have the following symptoms:

  • Situated in an area that is just below the skin layer, especially in the back, neck, shoulders, arms, thighs or abdomen.
  • A texture that is soft and even doughy when touched, that can be moved easily without the exertion of high pressure.
  • A small size, generally below 5 inches in diameter, though this can vary from person to person. Lipoma can also grow from this small size to a larger scale.
  • Occasional pain, especially when growing. This growth can cause a Lipoma to press on or affect the nerves nearby, or they may contain blood vessels that cause an excess of pain.

In the majority of cases, a Lipoma does not require any treatment and is not considered a pressing or serious medical condition. However, it is important to speak to a doctor in order to get the correct diagnosis of Lipoma, even if Lipoma removal is not required.

Checking for new bumps, lumps, and other growths is important at any time, and ensuring that Lipoma you discover does not require any medical care is important in order to avoid self-misdiagnosis.

Lipoma as a condition often runs within families, suggesting a genetic component that may cause this item. However, this is not always the case and middle age can often lead people to develop Lipoma due to the increased risk factor. This is especially true between the ages of 40 and 60.

The exact cause of Lipoma is not understood or known, and other than a genetic component the chances of someone being diagnosed with Lipoma later in life is largely unknown. As a non-life-threatening condition, developing Lipoma is a common diagnosis for many people as they approach the risk-factor age.

Though a Lipoma is commonly situated in certain areas of the body, such as the back, neck, abdomen, and arms, this condition can occur anywhere in the body. As a fatty lump under the skin, Lipoma can grow in practically any location on the body, and often multiple Lipomas grow at once.

Diagnosing a Lipoma

If you or a family member has discovered a lump you feel might be a Lipoma, it’s important to check with a trained medical professional or doctor in order to confirm the diagnosis of your condition. Though Lipomas themselves are unlikely to cause harm, other lumps under the skin may indicate other, more serious conditions.

In order to officially diagnose a person with a Lipoma, a doctor may perform a variety of different tests. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • A full physical exam to examine the lump on the body and determine its cause
  • Removal of tissue from the affected area, often known as a biopsy. This can then be confirmed in a lab for informed diagnosis
  • A scan of the affected area, either through X-ray or through other imaging technologies such as a CT or MRI scan. These scans can identify and help in the diagnosis of abnormal, large or deep Lipomas.

Though in the majority of cases patients with the listed symptoms will be diagnosed with Lipoma, in some cases this condition could actually be Liposarcoma, a form of cancerous tumor that resembles the symptoms of Lipoma. Either a biopsy or scan will be performed by a doctor if your lump matches the symptoms of this condition, in order to disprove or confirm a diagnosis.

A doctor will likely ask you questions relating to the size, growth, and reputation of Lipoma on your body, as well as confirming if the area is painful and if there is a history of Lipoma in the family. This will allow them to make an informed decision about your diagnosis and any treatment you may require following this diagnosis.

Once confirmation has been received from the doctor of Lipoma, often no further care or treatment is required for the area. However, for abnormal Lipomas or those who cause pain or have excessive growth, Lipoma removal may be recommended.

Lipoma Removal

Though generally there is no need for the removal of Lipoma from the skin, in some cases a doctor may opt to have you undergo Lipoma removal surgery in order to prevent a Lipoma from further growth or prevent pain caused by this condition. Patients with Lipoma in uncomfortable or unsightly places may also choose to remove Lipoma for cosmetic reasons.

The following methods of treatment are available for the removal of Lipoma:

Surgery

This treatment is performed by using a sharp object such as a scalpel to cut into the skin and remove the Lipoma tissue itself. Reoccurrence of Lipoma following this removal technique is low, but this technique may result in scarring or bruising. This is often the choice a doctor will make if your Lipoma needs removal as soon as possible.

Minimal Excision Extraction

Another form of surgery, this technique aims to reduce the after-effects of the removal of Lipoma in comparison to standard surgery. This method is most applicable for highly visible Lipoma such as on the face or neck that may cause unsightly scarring otherwise. For cosmetic purposes, both this and Liposuction offer good results with fewer side effects.

Liposuction

Using a syringe and needle, a surgeon or doctor will be able to remove the fatty lump of Lipoma under the skin with similar techniques to those used for fatty tissues in other parts of the body. This method is particularly effective for larger Lipoma.

As with any form of surgery, it is never suggested to undergo this form of treatment unless it is a requirement. However, due to the nature of Lipoma, removing this fatty lump carries far less risk than larger scaler surgeries.

Preventing Lipoma

As with the cause of Lipoma, there is no known way to prevent this condition, as it appears to be a result of a variety of factors including the age and genetic predisposition of a patient. However, the removal of Lipoma from the body using surgery has been shown to reduce the chance of reoccurrence in the same area, making it of benefit to those who struggle with painful or constantly growing Lipoma.

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