TUMOURS– Lipoma – Fatty swelling
Lipoma can occur anywhere in the body. The common occurrence sites are fat depositing areas like nape of the neck, shoulder, back, trunk, buttocks, hips, thighs, arms, forearms and belly (abdomen muscles). Most of lipoma is subcutaneous, but it can also occur in deeper tissues like subserous (liver, lungs, heart, etc.), subsynovial (joints), submucous (oral, oesophagus, etc), subperitoneal (inside abdomen), intramuscular, etc.
CAUSES – Unknown. Many people relate the causative factor with eating fatty things and being obese, but nothing is true or scientific. They are sometimes supposed to run in the family.
SYMPTOMS – Except swelling or mass which causes cosmetic disfigurement, no other symptoms are usually seen.
- Usually it will be round or oval in shape with variable size
- It is freely movable and is not attached to the skin or deeper tissues
- It is smooth in surface, rubbery in consistency and slippery in the edges
- Their margins are well-defined and feel as if the swelling is enclosed in a capsule
- It grows very slowly.
In general, lipoma is left untreated because there is no known method of treating it or because it is harmless. Doctors and patients opt for surgical removal if there is a large or small single lipoma and if it disturbs functioning. For small lipomas, nowadays, liposuction is often preferred and followed to have minimal scarring. But most of large ones are excised only with incisions. Even when removed, there can be recurrences. Liposuction has more recurrence rate due to left residuals, whereas in surgical incisional removal, since it is removed completely, including the capsule, the recurrence rate is less.
Lipoma is a cosmetic illness. Does surgical excision cure the condition? No. So, never go for surgical options to get it removed unless it gives any persistent symptom due to localised pressure. Usually surgical removal causes it to spread to other places for unknown reasons. So surgeons never assure non-recurrence in the same or other places.
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