General Surgery

Lipoma: Understanding and Treatment Options:

Lipomas are common, noncancerous growths that develop beneath the skin. They are composed of fat cells and typically appear as soft, rubbery lumps. Lipomas can occur anywhere on the body where fat cells are present, such as the neck, shoulders, arms, back, or thighs. While lipomas are generally harmless and do not require treatment, some individuals may choose to have them removed for cosmetic reasons or if they cause discomfort.

Characteristics and Diagnosis:

Lipomas are usually small, painless, and slow-growing. They can range in size from a few millimetres to several centimetres. Lipomas are typically movable, easily compressible, and have a doughy consistency. The diagnosis of a lipoma is often made through a physical examination by a healthcare professional, who can assess the appearance, texture, and characteristics of the lump. In some cases, imaging tests like ultrasound or MRI may be performed to confirm the diagnosis or rule out other conditions.

Treatment Options:

  1. Surgical Excision: Surgical removal is the most common treatment option for lipomas. It involves making an incision over the lump and carefully removing the entire lipoma, including its capsule or sac. This procedure is usually performed under local anaesthesia on an outpatient basis. Surgical excision ensures complete removal of the lipoma and is effective in preventing recurrence.
  2. Liposuction: Liposuction is a minimally invasive procedure that can be used to remove larger lipomas. It involves inserting a thin, hollow tube called a cannula into the lipoma and using suction to remove the fatty tissue. Liposuction is often preferred for lipomas in areas where cosmetic outcomes are important, as it results in smaller incisions and less scarring compared to surgical excision.

The choice of treatment depends on factors such as the size, location, and symptoms associated with the lipoma. If you have a lipoma or are concerned about any unusual lumps, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment recommendation.