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Lipoma: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Mar 21, 2024

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Lipoma Causes

What Are The Types Of Lipoma?

Lipoma Symptoms

Lipoma Risk Factors

Lipoma Diagnosis

Lipoma Treatment

Can Lipomas Can Be Prevented?


A lipoma is a slowly growing fatty tumor that often appears between your skin and the muscle layer underneath it. Gently pressing on a lipoma makes it slip easily; it feels doughy and is usually not sensitive. Most lipomas are seen in middle age or later. Individuals can have several lipomas.

Usually benign, a lipoma is not malignant. You may decide to have the lipoma removed if it bothers you, is uncomfortable, or is growing, even though treatment is typically not necessary.

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Lipoma Causes

Medical experts are unsure of the cause of lipomas' proliferation. They are passed down through generations since they are inherited. Your risk of developing a lipoma increases if a member of your family already has one.

Certain disorders might cause the body to grow many lipomas. The following illnesses can result in lipomatosis:

  • Dercum's Disease: This rare ailment causes excruciating lipomas to form, mainly on the arms, legs, and trunk. It is also known as Adiposis dolorosa and Anders' syndrome.
  • Gardner Syndrome: Gardner syndrome is a kind of familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) that causes lipomas along with a host of other health complications.
  • Genetic multiple lipomatosis, sometimes referred to as family multiple lipomatosis, is a genetic disorder that is carried down via generations.
  • Men who drink heavily are more susceptible to developing Madelung's disease. Masses of lipomas growing around the neck and shoulders are a hallmark of Madelung's illness, sometimes called multiple symmetric lipomatosis.

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What Are The Types Of Lipoma?

All lipomas are made of fat. Certain lipomas also show blood vessels or other tissues. 

There are several types of lipomas, such as:

  • Angiolipoma: This kind has fat and blood vessels. Angiolipomas often cause pain.
  • Conventional: In conventional lipomas, the most common kind, white fat cells are present. Cells of white fat store energy.
  • Fibrolipoma: Fibrous tissue and fat make up this kind of lipoma.
  • Hibernoma: This kind of lipoma is characterized by brown fat. Most other lipomas show white fat. By generating heat, brown fat cells help the body regulate its temperature.
  • Myelolipoma: These lipomas are made of fat and blood-forming components.
  • Spindle cell: These lipomas have longer fat cells than wider ones.
  • Pleomorphic: These lipomas include several types of fat cells.

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Lipoma Symptoms

Any area of the body might develop lipomas. They are typically:

  • Located just beneath the skin. The back, arms, thighs, neck, shoulders, and belly are common places for them to show up.
  • It feels doughy and velvety to the touch. Furthermore, they slide with very little finger pressure.
  • Usually not very large. Lipomas typically measure less than 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, however they can expand.
  • Sometimes painful. Lipomas can cause pain if they expand to the point where they push against nearby nerves or if they have many blood vessels.

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Lipoma Risk Factors

In the event that you have specific conditions, a lipoma may develop more likely to:

  • Age in between forty and sixty years old. Though they can appear at any age, lipomas seem to appear more commonly in this age range.
  • Inherited traits. A lipoma typically runs in the family.

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Lipoma Diagnosis

To diagnose a lipoma, your doctor might:

  • A personal examination
  • A biopsy is the process of removing tissue samples for laboratory examination.
  • An X-ray, MRI, or CT scan, or both, if the lipoma is large, has unusual signs, or appears to be deeper than the fatty

It is quite unlikely that a lump that seems to be a lipoma might actually be liposarcoma, a kind of cancer. Liposarcomas are cancerous tumors of the adipose tissues that grow swiftly, stay under the skin, and usually cause discomfort. If your physician suspects liposarcoma, they will likely do a biopsy, CT scan, or MRI.

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Lipoma Treatment

Therapy is usually not necessary for a lipoma. However, if the lipoma hurts you, is unsightly or is growing, your doctor could suggest removal. The following are some lipomatosis treatments:

  • Surgical removal. The vast majority of lipomas are removed surgically. Recurrences are uncommon after removal. Scarring and braille are possible side effects. A technique called minimal excision extraction could result in fewer scars.
  • Liposuction. A large syringe and a needle are used during this treatment to remove the fatty lump.

Also Read: Boerhaave's Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Can Lipomas Can Be Prevented?

Many of the underlying medical conditions and lipomas are inherited. Since they are inherited, there is no way to prevent them. Cutting less on alcohol will help lower your risk of developing Madelung's disease, a condition that causes lipomas to form.

Also Read: Hammertoe: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

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