Have you noticed that you have a new breast injury? Before worrying about what may be happening, let me tell you that most of the time, it is usually benign lesions, especially if the lesion is superficial and does not cause discomfort.
Fat balls in the breasts are usually due to two leading causes: lipomas and fatty cysts. Both conditions are benign and typically remit spontaneously, although another type of treatment may be required in some cases.
In this FastlyHealarticle, you will find everything you need to know about fat pellets in breasts, their causes, and treatment.
Why do fat balls appear in the breasts?
The appearance of a ball in the breast can be a matter that generates anxiety and concern, but if it is a fat ball, do not worry. Two types of lesions can be called “fat balls”: lipomas and fatty cysts.
Lipoma in the breast
A lipoma is an abnormal proliferation of tissue of limited growth that does not invade surrounding structures. Therefore, it is considered a benign tumor.
This type of injury can occur anywhere in the body. It can appear deep within the tissues or be rather superficial.
They usually appear in a minor, relatively superficial ball in the breast. Most of the time, it is discovered by chance in a gynecological exam or as a product of breast self-exams that women perform themselves.
Lipomas tend to be small and are no larger than 5 centimeters. Although they can sometimes grow quite a bit larger, this is not what happens frequently. They can also cause other symptoms such as suppuration (although rare) or even pain. The latter usually occurs when the lipoma:
- It is close to the nipple.
- It contains many blood vessels (that is, highly vascular).
- It grows a lot and puts pressure on a nerve in the area.
They are usually quite soft structures to the touch and are usually located just under the skin, without being attached to it so that you can move them a little.
The other possibility of fat pellets in the breast is a fatty cyst, also known as a fat necrosis mammary nodule.
These types of injuries usually appear in different situations in which the breast suffers an injury:
- After a hit.
- Due to breast trauma.
- As a product of surgery.
- After radiation treatment for breast cancer.
What happens, in this case, is that within the adipose or fatty tissue of the breast, a small bag of fat is formed that contains liquid.
These injuries are more common in women with more fatty tissue in the breasts, which is more common in those with larger breasts.
Being the antecedent of trauma, you may notice that:
- The area where the ball appears hurts.
- The skin above the cyst may be red or bruised.
- The skin is usually thicker above the ball.
To reach the diagnosis, a questioning of the patient and an excellent physical examination are usually sufficient. On an ultrasound, the diagnosis can be quickly confirmed, and, if in doubt, an ultrasound-guided puncture aspiration can be performed to determine the nature of the cyst.
These types of injuries usually disappear on their own spontaneously, that is, without you doing any treatment.
Do fat balls hurt?
This depends on:
- The cause that has generated the fat ball: in most cases, there is usually no pain, but if there was a substantial trauma before the appearance of the fatty cyst, there might be some discomfort.
- The location: if the fat ball is below the nipple, you may notice a painful sensation.
- Its vascularity: if it is surrounded by many blood vessels, there may be greater sensitivity.
- Its size: when the fat ball grows, it can compress some nearby nerve structure and cause considerable pain.
Treatment of fat balls in the breast
As a first step, it is essential to consult a doctor. A specialist will determine if the ball you feel in your breast is a fat ball or not.
As I have told you, a fat ball can be a lipoma or a fatty cyst. Next, I will explain the best treatment available in both cases.
Lipomas are usually small and benign, which is why you typically choose to do nothing. , time can make it go away on its own, and if it does not and does not give symptoms that bother you, it can remain in the breast without any problem.
If the lipoma is large, painful, or overgrows, it may need to be removed. Two methods can be used to remove a lipoma from the breast: surgery or liposuction.
- Surgery: Once it has been determined by imaging studies (mammography, MRI, CT scan) that the pellet is a benign tumor, surgery can be scheduled to remove the lesion. These injuries are usually superficial. The surgery can be minimally invasive, with small incisions. When the lipoma is completely excised, it is safer than it does not reappear.
- Liposuction involves removing the lipoma by introducing an excellent needle that removes the contents of the lesion. Still, by not removing the outermost layer of the lipoma, it may grow back.
Generally, these lesions disappear on their own, so it is not necessary in most cases to carry out any treatment.
If the cyst causes a lot of discomfort, minor surgery can be performed to remove the lesion, but you should know that in most cases, these discomforts also disappear with time.
On some occasions, to reach the proper diagnosis, a puncture of the lesion can be performed with an aspiration of its contents. When this procedure is done and all the fluid is removed, it is usually sufficient treatment.
How to tell if a fat ball in the breast is cancer
The vast majority of fatty breast lesions are benign lesions. If a lipoma or sebaceous cyst has already been diagnosed, it is improbable to be malignant, invading and affecting other tissues.
However, a lipoma may be a liposarcoma in a small proportion of cases. A liposarcoma is a malignant tumor of fatty tissue, in this case of the breast, characterized by:
- Be painful
- Invade nearby structures.
Imaging studies, such as MRI or computed tomography, are usually sufficient to know if it is a benign or malignant lesion.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Fat pellets in the breasts: causes and treatment, we recommend that you enter our category of Female reproductive system.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.