Lipomas are nothing than a growth of fat mass under the skin. In fact, they are the most common soft tissue tumors of the musculoskeletal system and their incidence increases with age, mainly between 40 and 60 years, and are more common in women than in men.
Do Lipomas Come Back?
The surgical intervention of the lipomas looks for the complete extirpation; therefore, it is not reproduced, in its place, there is only a scar. Reappearance after removal is rare. There are techniques of corticosteroid injection or liposuction that are also used to treat lipomas, but are not as effective as removal because they may come back.
They are benign tumors, not cancerous. Rarely, a lipoma becomes malignant. Most of them do not produce symptoms. Lipomas are usually asymptomatic and do not hurt. They are masses or rounded bulges, of soft or rubbery consistency, that appear under the skin, and that can be moved with the finger without difficulty. They tend to be superficial and can be easily felt.
They are characterized by their slow growth. Unlike other types of tumors, fat tumors tend to grow very slowly. They can appear anywhere on the body, although they have a preference for certain locations such as the back, the extremities (arms above all), the neck and the back of the head. They also appear on the buttocks and thighs, although less frequently.
They can reach a large size. Usually, the lipoma measures approximately between 1 and 2 cm, but there are cases in which they reach large dimensions, greater than 6 cm. It is not possible to predict what size they will reach in the future. They usually appear isolated. The most frequent is that an isolated one appears, but it is true that 2 to 3% of patients present several at the same time.
Other Types of Lipomas
The most frequent are common lipomas (which appear in isolation), although there are exceptions:
There are fat lumps that are not just under the skin but are located more deeply, under the tissue that surrounds the muscle (fascia).
They are less common, but when they appear they can reach a large size. This usually happens more in men than in women and appears especially in the extremities, especially in the legs.
When you touch them, their consistency is firmer than that of common lipomas, so they can generate doubts in the diagnosis and, therefore, always require medical attention to rule out that it is not really a liposarcoma, another type of tumor pathology that forms in the soft tissues and that is malignant.
Lipomatosis: Multiple Cysts
It is a hereditary disease that causes multiple lipomas to appear throughout the body. The treatment is not easy: the lesions that cause the most discomfort is usually removed when the affected area moves, but they may appear again.
What is The Cause?
It is not known why lipomas appear. They are of unknown origin and sometimes there is a familial tendency to the growth of lipomas, so it is believed that there is a genetic component. Occasionally, its appearance coincides with previous trauma in the area, especially after receiving a blow to the thighs or legs.
The weight can influence. Obesity increases the likelihood of developing lipomas, precisely because they are fatty tumors. It has also been found a relationship between excessive alcohol consumption or liver diseases and the development of this type of cysts.
How are Lipomas Prevented and Diagnosed?
Lipomas cannot be prevented. There is no way to prevent them from appearing, although logically if there are no risk factors such as obesity or alcohol consumption you will be less likely to arise.
In general, the doctor can establish what is involved by performing a physical examination of the fatty cyst without the need for additional tests. Only more aggressive methods are used, such as biopsy, if there are real doubts.
Before any cyst or inflammation that appears in the body, you should go to the doctor to make an accurate diagnosis.
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