Lipomas are the most common non-cancerous soft tissue growths among humans. A lipoma is essentially a growth of fatty cells that form within a thin, fibrous capsule and often reside just below the skin, though there are rare cases where they appear a little deeper than that. Removal is generally a simple process.
Say you have suddenly come across a strange lump under your skin that you could swear just wasn’t there before. Worried that it might be something dire, you take a trip to Utah Valley Dermatology or your nearest doctor to find out what this seemingly unusual growth might be. To your relief and good fortune, the physician tells you that you need not worry as it is only a lipoma.
Lipoma removal is a relatively simple procedure which often requires little more than a short visit to the doctor in the majority of cases and does not come with as considerable recuperation period as other procedures do. However, the best way to remove a lipoma, as with any other condition, is to prevent the appearance of one to begin with, and for that it is first necessary to understand it and its causes. This, though, may not be as simple as we would like, as you will see shortly.
What is a lipoma?
The short and sweet of it is that lipomas are the most common non-cancerous soft tissue growths among humans. A lipoma is essentially a growth of fatty cells that form within a thin, fibrous capsule and often reside just below the skin, though there are rare cases where they appear a little deeper than that. They are more commonly found around the armpits, upper arms, torso, neck, and upper thighs, but are not restricted to just those areas as they can appear just about anywhere in the human body. It is also possible for multiple lipomas to appear at the same time in the same area.
They generally feel soft to the touch, almost like rubber in consistency, and can be moved around a bit under the skin, but are not generally painful or bothersome in any manner other than being a little unsightly depending on the size of the lipoma and its location. Typically, being about 0.4 inches (1 cm) to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in size, they also tend not to grow much or at all, but if they do increase in size, they do so in slow progression over the course of years.
Prevention of the appearance of lipomas is not a simple matter due to the fact that they are not entirely understood as yet, since not all of its causes have been identified, but it is generally accepted by the medical and scientific communities that the tendency to develop such growths is genetically inherited and that minor injuries to the body may in fact trigger the growth’s formation. Curiously, contrary to common myth, being overweight does not cause the appearance of lipomas. They do tend to appear most often during middle age, despite all age groups being susceptible to them.
Diagnosis of a Lipoma is often quite easy, with a Doctor identifying the growth by sight alone. It is common, however, for physicians to run an imaging test to discard the possibility of such a growth being a malignant or cancerous one rather than a lipoma.
What is a lipoma removal surgery like?
Lipoma Surgery is not necessarily the go-to treatment method for Lipoma, since the growth is normally not painful or otherwise bothersome in any way. In fact, most Lipomas go untreated as there is no need for treatment in the first place. Nevertheless, if such a growth becomes infected, is painful (often due to its location), or it simply bothers the patient for one reason or another, surgery for removal of the growth is the way to go.
As we mentioned before, the procedure is a simple one that can be administered at a doctor’s office such as in Utah Valley Dermatology’s offices, or by an outpatient surgery facility. The physician will inject local anesthetic around the lipoma, proceeds to make an incision on the skin covering the growth, summarily removes the growth and finally stitches or sutures the incision. Simple enough!
In cases where the lipoma is located in a part of the body where it cannot be easily reached by way of an incision such as described above, the patient will have to undergo the removal of the growth under general anesthesia in the operating room.
LIPOMA REMOVAL SERVICES
So there you have it, the facts on what a Lipoma is, Lipoma Removal and Lipoma Surgery. If you happen to come across a growth and think it is a Lipoma, you need not panic. Just make your way on down to Utah Valley Dermatology and Dr. David Myers, a board certified dermatologist in Utah County, will take care of the problem stat! To schedule your consultation call us today at 801.768.8800.