Is my Lipoma from Whiplash?

I was the driver in a car that was rear-ended on May 30. On June 8, I noticed a lump on my right upper back, ER initially diagnosed as muscle knot. MRI and doctor later diagnosed lipoma. On June 17, I developed swelling in my neck (kind of the nape of my neck, between the scapula and clavicle) that seems more noticeable when I pull my shoulders back, about size of small golf ball. The dorsal subcutaneous lipoma is 6.1 cm x 6.8 x 3.6. Swelling on neck did not show on MRI. ER visit on June 17 said maybe lymph node, nurse practitioner on June 20 didn't know what it was, didn't think lymph node said ask surgeon to check. I am scheduled to see surgeon about next step on July 9. Would like to hear any thoughts/opinions. Thank you.

Doctor Answers 6

Lipoma caused by trauma

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Although the cause of lipomas is not known, it is not inconceivable that a lipoma can occur after trauma to the area. I personally treat many patients with diffuse lipomatosis in which someone has multiple lipomas. These patients often note that a lipoma does occur in areas associated with previous injury.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Trauma does not cause lipomas

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In all likelihood, you probably did not realize that the lipoma was there until you were involved in the motor vehicle collision. Occasionally, traumatic hematoma can cause fat necrosis as a result of the pressure exerted on the tissue, but this is rare. Blunt trauma, however, does not cause lipomas to grow.

Kevin Brenner, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Trauma does not cause lipomas

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First and foremost I am sorry to hear of your automobile accident and hope that you are on your way to a full recovery. I have never read any literature stating that lipomas could be caused from trauma or whiplash. It is important you are seeing a surgeon so you may be properly diagnosed and make sure that it is a lipoma you are dealing with. Best regards!

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 218 reviews

Whiplash is not caused lipomas

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Whiplash and trauma do not caused lipomas. Let other benign process that can occur throughout the body where ever there is the fat and subcutaneous tissue. They are not caused by traumatic events.

Lipoma not from whiplash

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Lipomas are benign (non-cancerous) growths. They are not caused by trauma as far as we know. Maybe the thing you are considering is not a lipoma but an area of damaged fat from the accident.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

Lipoma from an accident

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The car accident most likely drew attention to the lipoma. I have never heard of trauma causing a lipoma. Trauma is debated as a cause of other tumors (osteogenic sarcoma of bone, breast cancer, but never heard of a debate in this regard.
It is good tht you are seeing a surgeon.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist

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.