What is a Lipoma?
Lipomas are one of the most common forms of benign tissue growth. They are comprised of a slow-growing group of fat cells in a thin pocket usually just under the surface of the skin but occasionally found deep under some muscle layers. Lipomas are not cancer and they do not become cancerous. Typically, they are spotted on the torso, upper thighs, neck, upper arms, and armpits but can also occur anywhere on the body. Several can be present at once. They feel soft and doughy, aren’t usually tender, and move easily with slight manipulation. Sometimes they can be painful if they grow big enough to touch neighboring nerves or if they contain blood vessels. They aren't usually a serious medical situation, but if you do become aware of a new lump or swelling anywhere, call Skin Cancer Consultants. Our Dallas, TX facility is equipped with a team of board-certified medical professionals, under the guidance of plastic surgeon Dr. Thornwell Parker, to treat a variety of skin conditions.
"Great experience. Dr Parker and staff made me feel at ease when getting four skin cancers removed off my face. Scars barely visible. So thankful my Dermatologist recommended Dr. Parker. Highly recommend."- D. . / Wellness / Feb 17, 2016
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Types of Lipomas
No conclusive evidence exists which points to causation of lipomas. It is generally accepted that they are genetic or can result from a minor injury — in this case, they are referred to as post-traumatic lipomas. When multiple lipomas are present on the body, it is referred to as lipomatosis and is thought to be a hereditary condition. There are also cases of multiple, painful lipomas called Dercum disease and occurs mainly in women averaging 35 years of age. A form of lipomatosis, called Madelung disease, can also spread in male alcoholics, who are the exclusive sufferers. About 1% of the population have lipomas and, while they can manifest at any age, they are most common in people aged 40 to 60. They run small at under 3 centimeters but can occasionally grow to be quite large.
Lipoma excision can be performed at Skin Cancer Consultants, in which we will easily remove the lipoma. This involves the standard steps of numbing the area, cutting out the lipoma, and stitching it up with dissolving sutures. Liposuction is another method some people choose to pursue in the removal of lipomas. However, this can leave some cells behind, increasing the odds of the lipoma growing back. This may be preferred since multiple excision scars may not be cosmetically appealing depending on where they are located.
Minimal Incision Extraction
Another type of treatment, minimal incision extraction (MIE), is also performed by Skin Cancer Consultants since it is less invasive and can be performed as an office procedure. MIE is also more practical for patients with multiple or painful lipomas. Research shows that the odds of recurrence after an MIE is as low as 1.4%. Regardless of what procedure is ultimately used to excise your lipoma, remember that the odds of it being cancerous are very unlikely.
Plan Your Procedure
Say Farewell to Fear
Upon first feeling a lipoma, some people tend to jump to the conclusion that their lipoma is a malignant tumor of some sort. Skin Cancer Consultants would like you to know that the American Cancer Society has officially classified lipomas as benign and not malignant tumors. This can be taken to imply that there is a very limited chance that a lipoma you discover will metastasize. Additionally, there should bel little worry over a lipoma spreading to nearby muscles or tissues. However, any time you identify a new growth on your body, you should schedule an examination with our facility as soon as possible to ensure that the growth is indeed a lipoma. Additionally, if you have a lipoma that you are interested in removing, give our office a call today to set up a consultation.