Lipoma - Causes and Treatment

The lipoma is a benign tumor composed of fat cells (adipocytes). Lipomas usually grow in the subcutaneous tissue, i.e. just below the skin. However, although less common, it is also possible occurrence of deeper lipomas, which arise in the muscles, nerves, or internal organs in the abdominal cavity.

Lipoma on neck and arm
Lipoma on neck and arm

The lipoma is not cancer or are at risk of becoming cancer. In most cases, lipoma is totally asymptomatic and do not require any treatment, except that it is aesthetically uncomfortable or cause pain.

In this article we will discuss the causes, symptoms and treatment options lipoma.

What is lipoma

As mentioned in the introduction, lipomas are benign tumors without risk of malignant transformation, composed of fat that gathers and forms a rounded bulge under the skin. Lipoma stands out from the rest of the fatty tissue around them to be covered by a fibrous capsule. It is, therefore, a tumor of fat around the fat tissue.

About 1 to 2% of the population has one or more lipomas the body. This type of tumor is most common in adults, and female. In fact, the lipoma can occur at any age, but it is rare in children and adolescents, and becomes more common after 40 years of age.

We do not know why the lipoma arises. As there is a clear familial tendency to develop this tumor, it is thought that there is a strong genetic component in their training. Some cases of lipoma seem to come after a local trauma, but this relationship has not been proven.

There is no direct relationship between having more fat and the risk of developing lipomas. Being obese, for example, there is a risk factor. Lipoma is a tumor that frequently occurs in thin people. usually high in fat places such as the tummy, buttocks or breasts, are not the most frequently affected points. There seems to be, however, an increased risk of lipoma of the appearance when the skinny guy gain weight suddenly. This lipoma, however, does not disappear if the patient back to lose weight.

The occurrence of lipomas is also associated with some rare diseases such as: adiposis dolorosa (Dercum's disease), Madelung's disease, Cowden syndrome or Gardner's syndrome. In such cases it is common to have multiple lipomas the patient body.

Symptoms of lipoma

In the vast majority of cases the lipoma is a small round lump that appears below the skin. Most lipomas is between 1 and 3 cm, but some of them may reach to over 10 cm in diameter. On palpation, a lipoma is usually a homogeneous mass, with regular edges, painless, soft, elastic and mobile with consistency. Although usually be painless, some lipomas can hurt.

The above characteristics help to distinguish a lipoma a malignant tumor such as liposarcoma. Malignant tumors usually present as a hardened mass, little mobile, painful on palpation and irregular edges. The growth rate of the lipoma usually very slow, over the years, unlike malignant tumors, which generally grow faster.

Shoulders, neck, trunk and arms are the most frequently affected sites by lipoma. However, any body site where there subcutaneous fat can develop a lipoma.

Diagnosis of lipoma

In the vast majority of the time, only palpation of the tumor is sufficient to determine that the injury is a lipoma. If, however, the dough is hard, little mobile, painful, or if it has any other unusual feature of the lipoma, the doctor may request an ultrasound or a biopsy of the lesion to be sure that it is a benign tumor.

Treatment of lipoma

Classic lipoma excision
Classic lipoma excision
As the lipoma is usually a small, painless mass, it does not need treatment in most cases. Small lipomas may disappear spontaneously, but what often happens is a lipoma remain "quiet" and unchanged for years.

In the rare cases where lipoma grows too large, it hurts or is located in aesthetically undesirable points as the face, for example, surgery for removal of the same is an option. The procedure is usually simple and fast and can only be done with local anesthesia. Liposuction is another alternative treatment.

In general, removed lipoma does not usually use.

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