Dr. Kolachalam, Lipoma


What is a Lipoma?

Lipomas are the most common subcutaneous soft-tissue tumors.

What are they made of?

Lipoma’s are composed of adipocytes (fat cells).  Lipomas are generally slow-growing nodules with a firm, rubbery consistency. Most such tumors are asymptomatic but can cause pain when they compress nerves.

Where are they usually found?

Lipomas tend to occur by themselves about 80% of the time, but young men commonly have multiple lesions :

  • Trunk
  • Shoulders
  • Back of the neck
  • Axillae (Arm Pit)

What is the treatment for a Lipoma?

Dr. Kolachalam will make sure your lump isn’t a cyst, abscess, or very rarely a liposarcoma*. Surgical excision is generally the preferred method of removing a lipoma.

For most lipomas, imaging studies aren’t necessary for diagnosis but if it starts to rapidly increase in size a CT scan or MRI can be done. Small lipomas that are not causing problems should just be watched. If a lipoma continues to enlarge or causes problems, removal is the best treatment.

*Liposarcomas are cancers that grow in fatty tissues yet unlike lipomas they grow very quickly. If you see a significant increase in the size of your lipoma you should mention that to your doctor. You should also call your doctor if the lipoma becomes painful.

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