The excessive production of fat cells causes the formation of a tumor mass under the skin, which is called a lipoma. It is estimated that 1% of the world’s population suffers from this condition and although it can affect anyone without distinction of sex or age, it is more common for them to develop after the age of 20, but it is more frequent in people between 40 and 60 years of life, being a rare tumor in children.
This type of tumor is not dangerous and does not usually generate complications, except in very rare cases where it can become a malignant tumor and would become a liposarcoma. If you are interested in knowing more about lipoma: what it is, causes and treatment , we invite you to read the following article by FastlyHeal .
Table of Contents
What is a lipoma
A lipoma refers to a benign tumor , that is, it is not dangerous, it is slow growing and well defined. It is formed from the abnormal production of adipocytes , which are the cells of adipose tissue, the one that stores fat and protects internal organs. Mostly a single tumor is formed, but in 7% of cases it is possible that multiple of them arise, which is known as lipomatosis.
This tumor can develop anywhere in the body under the skin, although sometimes it may be found in deeper structures. It is commonly located in:
- The back
- The thorax
- The neck
And to a lesser extent:
- On the limbs
- The back of the head
It is common that some symptoms of lipoma are not perceived and they are only present in certain conditions , for example if it is of considerable size and stands out under the skin, is near a nerve or in a place of constant movement.
The symptoms can be integrated by the visibility of a small lump, although they can grow up to 6 cm in diameter, when touched they feel soft and are easily movable under the skin . They do not tend to generate any type of pain or to the touch, but in some cases it is possible to feel it and does not necessarily reflect a serious condition.
As in other types of tumors, the exact cause of a lipoma is not known and, although it is sometimes related to a genetic origin , it has only been shown that genetic inheritance is correctly involved with the development of hereditary multiple lipomatosis syndrome, in which the tumors can be both superficial and deep.
On the other hand, certain situations have been established that could be related to their presence, and it is important to take them into consideration. Some risk factors for the appearance of lipoma are:
- Drinking excessively alcoholic beverages.
- Being overweight or obese .
- Having liver disease.
- Suffering from hyperglycemia.
- Receive any trauma or injury.
How is a lipoma diagnosed?
The physical characteristics of the tumor and the patient’s medical history are often sufficient to determine whether it is a lipoma. However, to achieve an accurate diagnosis, especially if there are doubts about the characteristics of the subcutaneous lump, the doctor through the puncture takes a sample of the tumor tissue to analyze the cells. Likewise, an ultrasound is used to obtain an image of the lipoma.
As it is a benign tumor and generally does not result in complications, no treatment is usually necessary except in some circumstances , for example:
- If the lipoma has grown a lot
- If it causes pain
- If you restrict movement
- For aesthetic reasons
The treatment for lipoma is based largely on its removal surgically in a very simple and with a small cut for completely removing the bulk of fat cells process. However, this does not mean that it is not possible to develop a lipoma again later, either in the same site or in another, depending on the predisposition of the person.
Another treatment for this benign tumor is liposuction , a technique that consists of the aspiration and suction of the excess fatty tissue that makes up the lipoma, through a small incision and with the help of a syringe. Hospitalization is not necessary for this procedure, with a total recovery time of approximately 14 days.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Lipoma: what it is, causes and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Skin, hair and nails category .
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.