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Lipoma: Treatment, symptoms, advice & help

About lipoma

Lipoma is the most widespread incidence of soft tissue tumour in adults. It is usually characterised by non-cancerous (benign) tumour growth arising from fat cells. Lipoma may be solitary or even multiple.

Lipoma: Incidence, age & sex

Lipoma is the most common form of benign tumour that is usually encountered in adults. It may occur in individuals at any age but most commonly affects individuals in 40-60 years of age range. Its incidence is almost same in both men and women.

Signs and symptoms of lipoma: Diagnosis

Lipoma is characterised by occurrence of small, movable lumps which may feel soft and rubbery on touch. Lipoma may occur as a single lump or even multiple lumps. They are characteristically painless and most commonly occur on the chest, trunk and arms. However certain lipoma may have excess of blood vessels and are termed as ‘angiolipoma’, which may be painful to touch. In most cases, the affected individuals are not even aware about the presence of lipoma.

Lipoma may be easily detected by its appearance and feel. No additional investigations are needed for its diagnosis.

Causes and prevention of lipoma

The exact triggers that cause lipoma are not quite clear. It has been hypothesized that lipoma has a familial tendency and may run in families. It may also occur in reaction to a blunt trauma. No preventive measures are available for lipoma.

Lipoma: Complications

Lipoma is a benign tumour which is harmless and does not lead to any serious health concerns. However they may cause physical disfigurement if they grow to a significant size.

Lipoma: Treatment

Lipoma does not need any treatment unless it is painful or causing disruption in muscle movement or cosmetic disfigurement. In such cases, lipoma can be removed surgically under local anaesthesia. Sometimes steroid injections may also be given to trigger breakdown of fat, resulting in marked reduction in size of lipoma. Liposuction may also be employed for management of lipoma in some cases. However in most of the individuals, lipoma is an insignificant finding which does not require any treatment.