What is a Lipoma?

What exactly is lipoma?  Should I be worried if I have one?

Doctor Answers (19)

What is a Lipoma?

+3

Lipomas are subcutaneous fatty growths that are benign.  Patients typically want them removed because they are unsightly or by pressing on nerves are uncomfortable.  They typically start small and gradually enlarge to as much as 5-10 cm in diameter over a period of years.

There are genetic and familial aspects to lipomas. The large, rubbery lipomas are usually solitary. 60% are associated with an identifiable chromosomal abnormality, while patients with multiple, small lipomas on their chest, arms and legs often have a family history and there are no chromosomal changes.

Under the microscope the lipoma cells look just like ordinary fat cells. They can have a thin capsule around them, which the surgeon will try to dissect free of surrounding skin and tissue to try to get all the lipoma cells out. This is not always possible, so even if lipomas are surgically removed, they can recur.

Removal is done by some variant of a surgical technique:  direct excision, liposuction, and my preferred method, laser dissolution followed by aspiration through a minimal, hidden incision.

Web reference: http://www.enhanced-you.com/bodycontouring/smart-lipo/smartlipo-mpx-removal-of-lipoma/

Mountain View Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Lipomas: benign fatty tumors

+2

Lipomas are benign fatty tumors that are exceedingly common.  We are insulated with fat beneath our skin over the entire surface of our bodies.  Therefore, it's not surprising that a maverick fat cell will start growing unchecked.  Fortunately, lipoma removal is usually straightforward and can be performed under local anesthesia.  We also have laughing gas available.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Lipoma diagnosis and management

+2

A lipoma is a benign proliferation of fatty cells in the subcutaneous fat layer of the body, above the plane of the muscles. They grow slowly and are thought to occur from trauma, although this is not known for sure.

Management of lipomas is relatively simple as they are encased in a fibrous shell and can be removed with a small incision.

All bumps or lumps under the skin, however, should not be ignored, as they may be indicative of a malignancy. Always ask a physician to evaluate a lipoma by exam to verify the suspicion for lipoma vs. malignancy.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

A lipoma is the most common noncancerous soft tissue...

+2

A lipoma is the most common noncancerous soft tissue growth.  It is a growth of fat cells usually found just below the skin.

Lipomas are most commonly found on the torso, neck, upper thighs, upper arms, and underarms.

 

Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Lipoma?

+1

Lipomas are the most common benign tumor;  they are composed of adipose tissue. Sometimes these soft,  usually mobile  masses can grow in size and become an aesthetic or functional concern.

Malignant transformation of lipomas into liposarcomas  it's extremely rare ( and controversial).

Generally, I  recommend excision to allow for pathologic evaluation (which is the only  way to make a definitive diagnosis).

Best wishes.

Web reference: http://www.poustiplasticsurgery.com/

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 626 reviews

Lipomas are a common, benign tumors

+1

A lipoma is a common benign tumor usually found in the fatty layer of the skin.  They are harmless and only occasionally painful.  It is not clear why people get them.  if you want to remove a lipoma it is a simple surgical procedure that can be performed in a doctor's office under local anesthesia.  Occasionally, lipomas are large or deep in which case removal may be more complicated but still done under local aesthesia. 

New York Dermatologist
3.5 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

What is a Lipoma

+1

Limomas are benign fatty growths beneath the skin surface. Over time they tend to enlarge slightly but do not destroy the normal tissue nearby and do not metastasize or spread to other sites. As such, they do not need to be treated unless they are becoming symptomatic or problematic based on their size or where they are located. It's best to see a dermatologist to evaluate the lesion to assure it is a benign lipoma and whether it should be treated.

Web reference: http://www.dermatology-center.com

Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Lipoma

+1

lipomas are benign fatty tumors. they come in varying size and can sometimes cause dramatic symptoms. i have removed them from the size of a football on down to the size of a pea. some can be symptomatic and can grow in size.  i once had one cause impengement on the radial nerve in the wrist and caused posterior interosseus syndrome.

Ashburn General Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Lipoma is a benign growth of fatty tissue.

+1

A lipoma is a benign, harmless growth of extra fatty tissue. It may have some blood vessels mixed in and be referred to as an angiolipoma. These can sometimes be sore or tender, but are still harmless. There are very rare cases of malignant tumors of fatty tissue called liposarcomas, but this is the rare exception.

New York Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Lipoma evaluation and treatment

+1

Not all subcutaneous nodule is a lipoma. Lipoma is a benign proliferation of fatty tissues due to a combination of genetic tendencies and/or trauma. Besides lipoma, the other likely possibility is an epidermal inclusion cyst. Very rarely, one may encounter a malignant cousin of lipoma known as liposarcoma. One should get evaluation by a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon for diagnosis and treatment.

Web reference: http://www.drwilliamting.com/Surgical_Dermatology.html

Bay Area Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.

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