A lipoma is a benign tumor, formed by tissue cells adipose , which usually appear on the back, trunk or neck.
What is a lipoma?
Visually, a lipoma is shown as a mass normally rounded, well delimited and soft , which is under the skin and can be moved with the fingers, because it is not attached to tissues of the deep layers of the skin.
Is it so formed by fatty tissue cells (adipose) and sometimes they can be lobed. Its diagnosis usually comes from the patient himself, because it is easily detected by palpation and visually.
The size of lipomas is variable, usually varies between 2 to 10 centimeters and on rare occasions they reach larger sizes. From their appearance they can increase in size, until they stabilize at one point. In a low percentage of cases, lipomas are multiple and grouped, producing what is known as lipomatosis .
It is important to note that lipomas are not carcinogenic, These are benign tumors that do not cause metastasis or cancer . Only in very specific cases an adipose tumor becomes cancerous, in which case we will be talking about liposarcomas .
As already mentioned, the diagnosis of lipoma usually comes in the first instance from the hand of the person who suffers it, because It is easily detected by palpation And depending on its size, it can be easily visible. The diagnosis by a medical specialist usually does not require more than a physical examination and palpation of the tumor.
However, on occasions when the diagnosis is not clear, they can be performed supplementary tests like biopsies or ultrasound , in order to know what type of cells form the lipoma or the depth to which it is located, respectively.
The frequency of appearance of lipomas increases with age, appearing typically between 40 and 60 years . Although they can also occur in adolescence and less frequently in children.
The causes of the appearance of these adipose tumors are not completely defined, however, it is believed that they have an important genetic factor , which hinders its prevention. Sometimes, it is pointed to excess weight as a cause of appearance of lipomas, however, this statement is not unanimous and is not fully accepted.
In relation to this cause of appearance, you can adopt certain healthier lifestyle habits that can help prevent or reduce the appearance of lipomas:
- Reduce daily fat intake
- Eat more Omega-3
- Increase water consumption
- Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables
Normally, lipomas They are usually asymptomatic and usually do not cause problems . Sometimes they can cause local discomfort or small inflammations, especially if there are small traumas in the area of the tumor.
The skin that covers the lipoma is usually normal and healthy , the appearance of coloration in the area, of great discomfort or increase in size inflammation It can be the result of an infection. In this case, you should go to the doctor, who will normally administer antibiotics in order to eradicate said infection.
In most cases, lipoma removal is usually not necessary . Only when this causes great discomfort, infections or when it does not reach a stable size and continues to grow it proceeds to its surgical removal.
Surgery is especially contraindicated in those occasions in which the lipoma is found in complicated areas of the body for its intervention, either because of the risk of the operation or because of the prejudices in the mobility that the scar that could occur would entail.
That said, the lipoma treatments They may be :
- Surgical removal: by a small incision and resection (removal) of the tumor. This operation is simple and usually generates a small scar.
- Liposuction: a liposuction tube is inserted that allows to suck the fatty tissue of the tumor and eliminate it.
- Steroid injections: the injection of these substances in the area of the lipoma can reduce the size of the tumor, although in the majority of occasions they do not achieve their complete elimination.
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