A lipoma is a benign tumour composed of fat cells that usually grows just below the skin. These soft, rubbery lumps are typically painless and move easily when touched. Lipomas can vary in size, ranging from pea-sized to several centimetres in diameter, and they commonly occur on the neck, shoulders, back, abdomen, arms, or thighs.

The exact cause of lipomas remains uncertain, but they are thought to develop when fat cells multiply excessively within a fibrous capsule. While the exact triggers are not fully understood, several factors may contribute to their formation. Genetic predisposition is considered a significant factor, as lipomas often run in families. Additionally, hormonal imbalances, such as those occurring during pregnancy, may play a role in their development. Some research suggests that injuries or trauma to the affected area could also trigger lipoma growth, though evidence supporting this theory is limited.

Despite their benign nature, lipomas can sometimes cause discomfort or aesthetic concerns, prompting individuals to seek removal through surgical excision or liposuction. However, in most cases, lipomas do not require treatment unless they become painful, grow rapidly, or interfere with daily activities. Regular monitoring by a healthcare professional is advisable to ensure proper management and to rule out any underlying health issues.

What to do if you have a lipoma

If you discover a lipoma, it’s advisable to consult your GP for evaluation and guidance. While lipomas are generally harmless, a medical assessment can confirm the diagnosis and rule out any concerning conditions. Your doctor may recommend monitoring the lipoma for changes in size or discomfort.

Treatment is typically unnecessary unless the lipoma becomes painful, grows rapidly, or affects your mobility. Surgical removal may be considered for cosmetic reasons or if the lipoma causes discomfort. Regular check-ups with your healthcare provider ensure proper management and peace of mind regarding your health.

If you have a lipoma and are interested in finding out more about treatment options for a lipoma, contact specialist Mr. Andrew Clarke today.

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