Lipoma is a growth of fatty tissue which is located between the skin and the underlying muscle layer. It is a slow-growing benign tumor made of fat tissue. Though it is classified as tumor, it is usually harmless. It is a soft, movable and painless mass. Commonly seen in middle-aged people, location of lipoma includes shoulders, abdomen, arms, thigh and upper back. It usually occurs in one spot at a time, however, cases are seen where people experience two at the same time in different part of the body.
What causes lipoma?
It often appear after an injury, however, there is no scientific proof for this. Doctors say that Lipoma might be an after-effect of an injury. An inherited condition is also a possibility.
What are the symptoms of Lipoma?
- Small and soft lump less than 2 inches wide which usually is painless when touched
- Can move it with our finger
- Pain will occur when Lipoma is situated near the nerves or if they contain blood vessels.
- Grows slowly
- Colourless and pale
When is medical assistance required?
Lipoma rarely is a serious medical condition, however, it is always better to show it to a doctor when the symptoms are seen. Only medical tests can tell the true nature of Lipoma. There are very low chances that Lipoma can be formed in internal organs. In very rare cases, a lump can also be a type of cancer called a liposarcoma, this grows rapidly and can be painful.
How to treat Lipoma?
Since Lipoma is not harmful, doctors might suggest you leave them alone. Doctors can often diagnose a lipoma by performing a physical exam.
- Removing surgically: A lipoma that has left alone usually doesn’t cause any problem. It can be removed by simple excision. In case you experience any pain, a doctor can give you a shot of medication to numb the area and can surgically remove it. There is no need for the patient to wait after this and can go home immediately. However, patient may have to go back to remove the stitches after a weeks.
- Doctors, sometimes, can give a drug which will shrink the tumor.
- Liposuction: In this case, a doctor will use a needle and a syringe to suck out the fatty tissue.
- If the lipoma is large, the removal of it will be more difficult. In this case, the doctor might give you something which will make you sleep and then start the procedure. Lipoma rarely reappears once treated.
In the end, It is always best to check with the doctor even though the it maybe painless.