What is Lipoma
A lipoma is a slow-growing, fatty lump that's most often situated between your skin and the underlying muscle layer. A lipoma, which feels doughy and usually isn't tender, moves readily with slight finger pressure. Lipomas are usually detected in middle age. Some people have more than one lipoma.
Lipomas are benign tumors made of soft fat tissue soft that mostly occur just under the skin, but sometimes may be deeper. They are soft, rubbery, moveable lumps that are harmless and painless. They grow slowly and range in size from the size of a pea up to 5cm. Lipomas are most commonly found on the arms, shoulders, upper back, chest, thighs and buttocks; anywhere where fat cells are present.
Lipomas are caused by an overgrowth of fat cells and risk factors can include family history, lack of exercise and obesity. It’s uncommon to have more than one or two lipomas but a rare, inherited condition familial multiple lipomatosis may cause multiple lipomas to develop all over the body.
There are several ways of removing lipomas, dependent on the size and location but they are usually easy to treat with very little downtime at all.
Lipomas are non-cancerous and are caused by an excess of fat cells. They can emerge anywhere on the body but are normally found on the shoulders, neck, abdomen, arms and thighs.
They are soft and doughy to touch and, although not normally painful, they can cause discomfort and pain if they grow and press on nearby nerves. About 1% of the public will develop a lipoma but it is unusual to have one or more of them.
If you notice a swelling anywhere on your body, have it checked out by your doctor. Lipomas tend to run in families, indicating a genetic factor, but their cause is unknown. They can occur at any age but are more common between the ages of 40 and 60-years-old.
You may be a good candidate for lipoma removal if your lipoma has become overgrown or painful. Surgical removal can enhance your cosmetic appearance and your overall quality of life.
Lipoma Removal Procedure:
Lipomas are usually removed in a professional medical centre and through a surgical procedure. This procedure does not take long (several minutes to be more exact) and it is mostly painless due to the local anaesthesia that is injected into the area where the unpleasant body fat is located. Then, an incision is performed in the skin to have the fat cells growth removed and then it is closed with stitches. In case the lipoma is located in a more difficult-to-reach part of the body, general anaesthesia may be required.
How Long is Lipoma Treatment:
Treatment time varies based on a number of factors such as size, depth, and location of your lipoma. The method in which they are removed can also affect the procedure time. The majority of surgical removals take as little as 30-minutes.
Lipoma Removal Recovery Time:
The recovery period usually only takes a few days, however, this will vary from person to person. Most people who undergo lipoma removal will experience a fast recovery. However, it is still recommended to avoid any strenuous activities for up to two weeks after the removal. It is also best to discuss medications you are taking with your doctor, in order to avoid any complications during the recovery period.
How Can I Self Diagnose A Lipoma?
You can usually tell if a bump is a Lipoma by pressing it. It should feel smooth and soft, like rubber or dough, and may move about under the skin.
When will I see results?
Larger lipoma removal can be seen instantly, results from removing smaller lipomas can be masked by post-surgical swelling. As swelling subsides over the course of several weeks, you will see a continued improvement.
Who gets lipomas and how common are they?
Anyone can develop a lipoma at any age. Lipomas are common - about 1 in 100 people develop one or more lipomas. Some people inherit a tendency to develop lipomas and may have several on different parts of the body. Sometimes as many as 20 or more develop. However, it is more common to develop just one or two. Lipomas can occur in people who are normal weight as well as people who are overweight.
Any Side Effects After Surgery:
Before undergoing lipoma removal, it is important to understand the potential side effects. While side effects are rare, this is a surgical procedure and there is still the rare chance of them occurring. Some rare side effects include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Fluid or blood accumulation under the skin
- Infection in the surgical wound
- Deformity (in the case of large lipomas)
- Muscle irritation