Advanced, minimally invasive treatments at affordable costs only at Medfin.

Advanced, minimally invasive treatments at affordable costs only at Medfin.

A lipoma is a fatty tissue lump between the skin and underlying muscle. It is slow-growing. Lipoma can appear anywhere in the body. Although, typically a lipoma is formed commonly on the neck, shoulders, forearms, arms, and thighs. 

Individuals may develop more than one lipoma at a time. Doctors generally do not recommend the removal of a lipoma if it is not bothersome. However, if it causes pain or is growing in size the doctor may remove it.

Lipomas are doughy to touch and usually painless. But they can grow in size and cause nerves in the surrounding to compress. Some lipomas may contain blood vessels, and are called angiolipomas, and are painful. 

The doctor begins with a physical evaluation of the lipoma. A biopsy can be recommended to study the tissue sample should the doctor be dissatisfied with the physical examination alone.

An X-ray, CT, or MRI scan may be prescribed if the lipoma is larger than usual and has any unusual features. As also as cases where the lipoma is assumed to be deeper than the fatty tissue.

In a rare case where the liposarcoma (cancerous tumor in fatty tissue) presents as a lipoma, which spreads rapidly, imaging techniques are employed for diagnoses followed by an appropriate treatment regimen.

1. Overview: A small cut is made for the lipoma to be visible, it is surgically removed from its roots and the skin is stitched back together if required.

2. Snapshots:

  • Procedure Type: Minimally invasive
  • Anesthesia: Local/General/Spinal Anesthesia
  • Hospitalization: 0-1 day
  • Procedure time: depends on the count, size and location of lipomas. It may take as little as 10 minutes to as much as 3 hours.
  • Recovery Time: 1 week

3. Post-Surgical Care

  • Drink plenty of fluids, eat lightly, avoid heavy/spicy/greasy meals
  • You can resume normal activities after 3-4 days, or as comfortable you feel
  • Avoid strenuous activities that can pull the incision for a week
  • Do not drive or operate machinery
  • Take painkillers as directed by the doctor
  • You may apply ice pack, remove the outer gauze dressing after surgery and shower on the first day
  • Also, leave small pieces of tape covering the incisions for 2 weeks or until they fall off
  • Try to keep the site of the lipoma elevated for a day or two.
  • 4. Advantages of this Procedure: Cosmetically, it will make the skin smooth and levelled again. It is both cosmetically and medically beneficial.

    • ​The cause of the occurrence of lipomas has not been specifically detected. Although, it seems to be a genetic condition, as it runs in families. Aging may also play a part in their formation, as the frequency of observed lipomas is in the population above the age of 40 years. 
    • Lipomas also are formed after an injury; however, the exact cause has not yet been identified.

    In certain cases, inherited conditions have been identified as responsible for the formation of lipomas. These include:

    • ​Madelung's disease (mostly affects men of Mediterranean lineage having a disorder associated with alcohol use).
    • Adiposis dolorosa (a rare condition characterized by the formation of multiple, painful lipomas).
    • Cowden syndrome.
    • Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome.
    • Gardner's syndrome (rare cases).

    Doctors generally do not recommend the removal of a lipoma if it is not bothersome. However, if it causes pain or is growing in size the doctor may remove it by:

    • ​Liposuction: This technique uses a large syringe and needle to remove the fatty lump by aspiration. The procedure is done under local anesthesia.
    • Surgical removal: This procedure is performed under local anesthesia and is called an excision. The lipomas do not tend to recur once removed surgically. The possible side effects are bruising and scarring in the operated area.

      A lipoma is quite distinct from many other types of skin tumors. Following are the features that distinguish a lipoma:

      • ​Soft to touch, up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter (can grow in size).
      • Moves easily when touched with a finger.
      • Located just below the skin.
      • Without discoloration and of skin color.
      • Slow growing.

      They may grow on the stomach and on the back, apart from the usual locations on the body where they form. Lipoma can be painful when it compresses a nerve under it. Or, in the case of angiolipoma, due to the presence of numerous blood vessels in the lipoma. 

      In case of an anomaly, the doctor should be contacted, to eliminate the doubt of a rare, similar-looking, liposarcoma (a cancerous condition).

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