What Is Lipoma?
Usually harmless, a lipoma is a noncancerous, fatty tissue growth that develops in the body’s soft tissue. And while they are rarely harmful, they can make you feel self-conscious or uncomfortable, especially since they often occur in the arms, thighs, or upper body, like on the back of the neck. They’re most often seen in those between the ages of 40 and 60, and because around 1 in every 1,000 people will develop a lipoma in their lifetime, if you develop one, you’re certainly not alone.
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Symptoms of Lipoma
Lipomas typically appear as soft, almost doughy lumps, usually less than 2 inches wide, and are not often painful, though can cause discomfort if they’re located near nerves or blood vessels.
Causes of Lipoma
While their cause isn’t entirely known, they tend to run in families, so there might be a genetic link. They can also sometimes appear after an injury.
While only a doctor can give a definitive diagnosis, possible symptoms of a lipoma include:
- A colorless lump or bump just under the skin that feels soft to the touch;
- it can move easily if touched;
- appears gradually and grows slowly;
A lipoma can form on any part of the body, though they typically appear on:
- The neck;
They’re usually diagnosed by a doctor via a physical exam, though a biopsy, X-ray, CT scans, or MRI may be required to confirm.
Lipoma Removal and Treatment Options
While not harmful medically, lipomas may cause you significant cosmedic discomfort. Dr. Barrett has extensive experience with lipoma removal — especially with little to no scarring. Depending on your particular case, it may be removed via a small incision with the use of a local anesthetic. Since lipomas are fat-based, Dr. Barrett may choose to remove it by liposuction in order to draw out the fatty tissue. Regardless of your treatment option, it’s essential that lipomas are removed entirely to ensure they don’t come back. When fully removed, they rarely come back.