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
"All the staff was very professional."- Anonymous / Healthgrades / Oct 12, 2017
"Dr. Parker is excellent!"- B.M. / Google / Oct 08, 2017
"The best of the best! He came highly recommended by a doctor we have great respect for and he certainly was correct. Dr Parker has taken perfect care on all four visits for Ralph."- A.W. / Google / Sep 10, 2017
"I was diagnosed with 2 basal cell carcinomas requiring Mohs surgery by a dermatologist in McKinney. One was on my face and the other on my leg. I researched plastic surgeons specializing in Mohs surgery and found Dr. Parker. I had my surgery 2 weeks ago. I couldn't have asked for a better experience. Dr. Parker and his whole staff were very encouraging, caring and talked me through every step of the process. I felt very safe and comfortable and never felt I was being rushed. He took the time to explain everything he was going to do and gave me time to ask any questions. Other than a little prick from the initial numbing shots, I felt no discomfort. My incisions were bandaged and I went back the next day for sutures. Each incision required 14 stitches. His nurse explained exactly how to care for them. 1 week later I went back to have the sutures removed and they were covered with steri strips. While I was there, I asked for a full body check, as I didn't feel my original dermatologist had done a thorough check. Dr. Parker found 2 more suspicious spots, 1 was precancerous which he removed all of with the biopsy scrape and another on my back was basal cell which I will be going back for another surgery. So thankful he checked me thoroughly, checking from my scalp to between my toes. Dr. Parker will now be my dermatologist. I can't recommend them highly enough!"- C.A. / Yelp / Aug 13, 2017
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.