What is Lipoma?

21:55 - 4 May , 2021


It is a bulge of adipose tissue or fat that develops slowly between the skin and muscle.

Due to its fatty matter, it has a soft consistency, it is generally not painful, and as it is a benign formation it is not a danger to your health, but when it hurts and increases in size, it is advisable to remove it surgically.

One or several may appear simultaneously, with the most common age for its appearance being over 40 years old, especially in men.

The origin of lipomas is unknown, but genetic inheritance has been identified as the determining factor for their appearance. They are likely to appear in all body areas and usually have these characteristics:

  • Located between the skin and the muscle.
  • The areas where they appear regularly are:
    • Neck.
    • Upper and lower limbs.
    • Back.
    • Shoulders.
    • Abdomen.
  • Its consistency is soft and malleable.
  • They are generally small in size.
  • Sometimes they cause pain.

Diagnosis and treatment Lipoma

After analyzing your symptoms and clinical history, your doctor will perform a physical examination where they will carefully observe the possible lipoma and will touch it at different points to check its consistency and behavior, as well as identify its degree of sensitivity.

Despite having a clear diagnosis, they will request additional tests to confirm it and rule out any underlying condition or the possible malignancy of the adipose formation:

  • X-rays.
  • MRI.
  • Computed tomography.
  • Biopsy.

Sometimes something that looks like a lipoma can turn out to be a liposarcoma, which is a form of cancer, although these are usually hard, painful, and grow rapidly.

As it is a benign condition, no treatment is required for a lipoma unless it is painful or grows too large.

In these cases, there are two treatment options whose use will depend on the lipoma’s characteristics:

  • Surgery: surgical removal of the lipoma is the most recommended since it will hardly reappear after the procedure and only causes a little scar tissue and bruising.
  • Liposuction: it is less invasive. The fatty matter is extracted through a syringe inserted into the lipoma to dissolve the bulge as much as possible. Not all the fat can always be removed, so it only decreases in size and also has the potential to grow back later.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


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  • medlineplus.gov
  • cdc.gov
  • msdmanuals.com
  • topdoctors.es
  • medigraphic.com
  • Tovar BC, Tovar BDA, Ruiz OS. Lipoma en labio superior. Rev Tame. 2020;8.9(24):985-988.
  • Soto UA. Lipoma asociado al nervio mentoniano en cavidad bucal: estudio de caso. Medisur. 2020;18(2):256-264.
  • Vila-Ferrán LR. Lipoma esofágico. Mediciego. 2020;26(2):1-2.
  • Salazar-Vizuet I, Cobos-Bonilla MG, Villar-Trujillo A, et al. Lipoma tenar gigante causa inusual de síndrome del túnel del carpo. Cir Plast. 2020;30(3):160-166. doi:10.35366/98341.

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    The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.