Lipoma Symptoms and Treatment – Sometimes one may notice a fatty bulgy lump in the skin. This doughy bulge is not tender and it moves with the application of pressure. Wondering what this is? It might be a lipoma. Not aware of this condition? Read on to know more details.
Lipoma Symptoms and Treatment
What is Lipoma?
Before we understand the details about lipoma symptoms and treatment it is important to understand the meaning of lipoma. This is a fatty lump that grows slowly. It grows between the skin and the underlying muscle layer. This can be due to the overgrowth of the fat cells.
Whenever a lump appears on our body we are scared. We feel that this might be a cancerous growth.
But relax! A lipoma is a benign tumor. They are not cancerous and hence there is no need to worry. These lumps grow slowly. They can reach a size of around 3cms. Sometimes they can be of a huge size of around 10cms or even more.
Where ever fat cells are present these lumps can appear. But they are more commonly seen on shoulders, chest, trunk, neck, thighs, and armpits. They may also appear on internal organs, bones, and muscles. But this is in rare cases.
Why Get Rid of a lipoma?
These bulges can appear at any age. They are more common in middle age. Since they are not cancerous there is nothing to worry about. Even then some people prefer to get rid of them. This is because in some cases they may result in pain. In some people, there may be some other symptoms and in rare cases, they may lead to complications. One more reason is the cosmetic appearance. Nobody will like to show fatty lumps and this is one of the reasons that people prefer to get them removed.
Now that you know the meaning of lipoma let us check the reasons due to which it is formed. Once you are aware of the causes then next we can take a look at the symptoms and treatment.
Doctors do not know the exact cause of this condition. It could be a genetic defect that the person has inherited from the parents. This is known as familial multiple lipomatosis. It may occur in the case of people who have medical conditions like Gardner’s syndrome, syndrome, Madelung’s disease, and adiposis dolorosa. It is believed that lipoma may also occur from an injury.
Indications & Treatment options :
Now let us check the symptoms and treatment
- The person will be able to feel the soft lump in the skin
- It is usually not painful but in some cases, it may result in pain. The pain will occur if the lump is near the joints, organs, nerves and blood vessels.
- If the lipoma is under the skin then you will not be able to see the soft bulge. But if this internal lipoma puts pressure on some organ or nerves or blood vessels then symptoms associated with the organ or nerves and blood vessels may occur.
- Other risk factors that can lead to this condition are obesity, high cholesterol, disease of the liver, and glucose intolerance.
The doctor will do a physical examination. If required the doctor may send a sample of the tissue for biopsy. If the lipoma is very large then the MRI or CT scan may be needed.
If the lipoma is not causing any irritation then the doctor may just ask the patient to keep a watch on the lipoma and if there is growth in the size of the lipoma or if it starts irritating the patient then he may revisit the doctor.
However, if the lump is resulting in pain and other adverse effects then it may have to be removed by performing surgery. Side effects like bruising and scarring may occur. Reoccurrence of the lipoma after removal is very rare.
Whenever you find a bulge appearing on your body it is always better to visit a doctor. It is important to determine whether it is lipoma or liposarcoma.
It must be noted that lipoma is not cancerous but liposarcoma is cancerous.
If the lump grows internally then you will not be able to see the bulge but there may be associated symptoms. For example, if the lipoma is near the bowels then there will symptoms associated with it as constipation etc may occur. What you need to understand here is that there may also be other reasons due to which you are suffering from constipation. This only the doctor can tell.
The only thing that you need to keep in mind is that you must only opt for a qualified lipoma surgeon who can provide the best medical treatment. Choose an expert who has proven expertise in treating this type of medical condition.