Lipoma in Humans: Definition, Symptoms, and Treatment
Most people immediately think of cancer when they discover a lump anywhere on their bodies. However, not all tumors are malignant, and lipomas are some of them. A lipoma is a soft, fatty lump that grows between the skin and the underlying muscle layer. Even if it isn’t malignant, that doesn’t mean it won’t eventually become a nuisance.
Where Do Lipomas Come From?
Lipomas are typically innocuous, fairly prevalent, and do not cause malignancy. Although most have an unclear origin, some families have a hereditary predisposition to the growth of these tumors.
People between 40 and 60 also have a higher incidence of these conditions. It’s common for individuals to get just one or two lipomas in their lifetime. Rare hereditary diseases, such as multiple familial lipomatosis, can cause many lipomas in a single individual.
They are often mistaken for pimples, but they are larger and do not go away on their own. Like lipomas, sebaceous cysts can be removed surgically. A surgery clinic provides more information on sebaceous cysts and lipomas. Try to visit their website at www.torontominorsurgery.com/conditions/sebaceous-cyst.
Sometimes, a lipoma may cause hair loss if it is located on the scalp. Hair loss surgery may be an option if the lipoma is causing significant hair loss. During the procedure, the lipoma is removed, and hair grafts are transplanted into the area to restore hair growth.
While lipomas can develop anywhere inside the body, they are mostly seen in the neck, chest, back, shoulders, arms, and legs. It’s because these areas contain the most adipose tissues.
How Are Lipomas Identified?
After a physical examination, your doctor may order additional tests like a CAT scan, MRI, or biopsy (a tissue sample test) to help with a definitive diagnosis. They may suggest seeing an expert for lipoma removal if they see abnormalities or if you want to have the growth surgically removed.
It’s important to note that lipomas differ from liposarcomas, a type of cancer that can appear in tumors. These growths are excruciating, develop rapidly, and become permanent under the epidermis. If your doctor suspects you have this, they may suggest seeing a specialist for further evaluation and care.
Moreover, cysts can sometimes appear like lipomas. The difference is that cysts are usually solid and raised close to the skin’s surface. If you suspect that you have a cyst, it is important to seek medical attention. A surgery clinic offers diagnosis and treatment of sebaceous cysts and lipomas. Check their lipoma page to learn more.
How Do Doctors Deal With Lipomas?
To help patients achieve optimum health and well-being, hospitals and clinics use cutting-edge methods for identifying and treating symptomatic lipomas. Your doctor may decide to schedule an imaging test like an ultrasound, MRI, or CT scan to get a better look at the lump.
With these imaging studies, your doctor can tell the difference between a cyst and a lipoma. It can also reveal whether or not the lipoma is pressing on nerves or other organs, its depth, and whether or not it contains blood vessels.
Lipomas should be removed if they cause discomfort or prevent proper daily functioning. Surgery may be an option if it is located in a visible area and the patient feels self-conscious about it. Lipomas are typically removed through surgical excision or liposuction. Infection, bleeding, discomfort, scarring, or the return of the lipoma are all potential side effects of an operation.
The compression procedure is yet another option your physician has at their disposal. The lipoma is manipulated through a more modest cut during this variant. Squeezing is another option to reduce damage, but it’s usually reserved for bigger lipomas.
How Invasive Is a Lipoma Operation?
Only a surgical incision can typically get rid of a lipoma for good. An epidermal incision removes a lipoma, and the tumor is surgically removed. It is typically carried out in a hospital or a doctor’s clinic.
What Happens During Your Surgery?
- Before the procedure, your surgeon will give you local anesthesia to numb the area near the tumor. If the bump is significant, you may be given a sedative or general anesthetic through an IV. Sedatives can be oral, intravenous, or inhaled, allowing you to remain conscious but relaxed. On the other hand, general anesthesia puts you to sleep.
- Once the anesthetics take effect, the surgeon will make an incision in the skin and remove the tumor. The cut can typically be about as wide as the lipoma, which they remove. If necessary, they may also remove some of the surrounding tissue to ensure that all of the lipomas are removed.
The length of your operation often takes under an hour or even less than 30 minutes.
Lipomas are benign fatty tumors that manifest as bumps under the epidermis. Lipomas rarely necessitate treatment, but if one is giving you pain or aesthetic dissatisfaction, your doctor may suggest removing it surgically.
Lipoma removal is a common surgical technique that requires only a local anesthetic. When removing larger lipomas, a sedative or general anesthetic may be necessary. If you have a lipoma, visit your doctor to check if it needs some medical action or if it is something you can live with.