Do I have a Lipoma?

The only way to get an accurate diagnosis as to whether or not you have a lipoma is to visit your primary care provider or a specialist at the Lipoma Center in Los Angeles who can analyze your particular situation and, if necessary, perform a biopsy.

That being said, there are several signs and indicators you can look for in a self-diagnosis that can help offer you peace of mind and help you become a more informed patient who can work in tandem with a doctor to resolve your issues rapidly.

Lipomas are fatty tumors usually located directly under the skin, as opposed to within the muscle, joints, nerves or some other type of tissue. They are typically located on the upper arms, torso, neck and upper thighs.

When examined, lipomas generally move easily when touched. They also feel doughy and soft, unlike malignant tumors, which are generally hard and stay in one position.

It is most common for adults who are between the ages of 40 to 60 to develop a lipoma. It is also not uncommon for those susceptible to this condition to develop multiple lipomas.

Lipomas are not usually painful, but they can be depending on their location and proximity to nerves or other sensitive tissues. They are usually small and within two inches in diameter but they can grow to larger sizes.

It is important to note whether or not there are changes in any lumps you may find. Note the size and date you discover any lump and whether or not it grows in size.

I think I have a lipoma. What should I do?

At this point, you should schedule an appointment with a professional at the Lipoma Center of Los Angeles.

Fortunately, lipomas are benign and do not present a major threat to your health. However, they can cause discomfort or restrict movement and may be a source of embarrassment as they do interrupt the normally even surface of the skin.

The doctors at the Lipoma Center of Los Angeles are fully versed in the treatment options for lipomas. You should schedule an appointment to see one of our specialists to discuss your options for treatment.

Generally, treatment falls into three categories:

  • Steroid Injections
    Injecting a lipoma with steroids results in fat atrophy which can shrink but rarely eliminates a lipoma mass. This technique works best on lipomas that are less than 1 inch in diameter. Results usually occur in 3 to 4 weeks and may require multiple injections over intervals of several months. Complications are rare but may be a result of negative response to the medication or the procedure.

  • Liposuction
    Liposuction can be used to remove small or large lipomas. Sometimes, liposuction is chosen to remove large lipomas in order to allow for smaller incisions. However, liposuction can rarely remove the entire lipoma.

  • Surgical Removal
    Surgical removal is the only way to completely remove a lipoma. Lipoma surgery is usually a simple outpatient procedure done with local anesthetic. Depending on the case, regional or general anesthetic may be called for. The professionals at the Lipoma Center of Los Angeles are skilled in making incisions as small as possible for the least amount of visible scarring. Depending on the location of the lipoma, most patients do not experience a significant interruption of their normal activities and enjoy the relief of lipoma removal immediately.