A lipoma is a harmless lump of fat. There are several types, mainly classified by where they appear. The most common location is just beneath the skin, where they are easily felt. But, lipomas can occur anywhere.
Most tissue in the body can grow beyond its normal limits and form a lump or tumor. Tumors come in two forms:
Benign—stop growing after they reach a certain size (eg,
, polyps, lipomas); some can turn into cancer, but lipomas do not
If you have any of these symptoms do not assume it is due to lipomas. These symptoms may be caused by other conditions. Tell your doctor if you notice a soft lump under your skin. The lump may be:
The size of a pea to a grapefruit
Painless, but tender to touch
Big enough or located in place that causes pain (eg, over a nerve)—This is rare.
Painful and red if frequently irritated
Frequently tender or painful (certain type of lipoma called angiolipoma)
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam. The diagnosis is usually based on the smoothness, softness, and ease of movement under the skin. If there is doubt, it will be
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. You may want to leave the lump alone. Although if it is growing rapidly, the lump should be biopsied. Treatment options include:
In most cases, this can be done in your doctor's office or as outpatient surgery. This is minor surgery unles the lipoma is deep inside the body.
is commonly used to remove large amounts of fat from under the skin. But, the procedure can also be done to remove single fatty tumors.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a