Why Lipomas Need To Be Removed
Posted By Lakeview Surgery
A lipoma is a lump that’s technically a tumor, but it’s benign (non-cancerous), and made of fat cells. Anyone can develop a lipoma, and it affects both genders similarly, although adults are at a greater risk of having lipomas than children. Lipomas can be small, within the range of 2 to 5 cm, although giant lipomas can develop to be several inches long.
The doctor’s diagnosis
A lipoma appears as a protruding lump, and doctors can identify them by appearance correctly most of the time, although they may have reasons to want to double check their diagnosis.
Based on your demographic and personal history, the location of the lipoma may be cause for concern because some cancerous tumors look similar to lipomas. A removal of the lipoma will allow the doctor to examine the structure and verify whether or not it’s simply a mass of fat cells (lipoma) or cancerous growth. In addition, the doctor can remove tissue for a biopsy, further confirming the presence or absence of cancerous growth.
There does exist the very slim chance that the lipoma will lead to liposarcoma, which is a malignant tumor that forms connective tissues resembling fat cells. The doctor may recommend the lipoma removal under this concern.
Lipomas can cause problems
Large lipomas and lipomas on certain parts of the body will create pressure, leading to discomfort and even pain. Another possible risk is infection. Although lipomas lie deep below the surface of the skin, they can still be infected, sometimes by being exposed to foreign objects, as in a cut, being poked by sharp, non-sterile objects. Infection needs to be addressed because it could lead to other, bigger health problems, such as the spread of bacteria throughout the body.
A lipoma may be made of fat, but losing weight won’t shrink the size of a lipoma. Since most of them are found on the neck, upper thighs, upper arms, and armpits, their presence tends to be very visible, even when clothes are worn over it. The removal of lipomas is simple — a local anaesthesia is applied to numb the pain, and then a small excision is made to provide the surgeon with access to the lipoma’s capsule. It’s removed and the excision heals with minimal scarring.
About 1% of the population will develop a lipoma in their lifetime. Lipomas not only pose a health hazard; they can be very visible due to their size. Talk to us today to learn more about how we can help.