Lipomas refer to a very common non-malignant soft tissue growth that consists of fat cells, which lies beneath the skin, appearing as a bump or raised area. The neck, upper arms, armpits and torso along with the upper thighs are common sites of lipoma growth.
However, they may develop in virtually any area of the body. They typically have a soft, rubber like consistency. Lipomas grow at a very slow rate and may remain the same size for years. The growths most often appear during middle age. Men or women may develop lipomas, though men often have multiple growths.
The reasons for lipoma development are not known, though genetics play a role and some people develop lipomas following a soft tissue injury. While some may consider the growth unsightly in appearance, lipomas typically do not cause discomfort unless they compress nerve or muscle tissue.
Individuals may have the lipoma removed when the growth occurs in an inconvenient location. The certified dermatologists at our Calabasas center may diagnose lipomas by visual examination, but may require a biopsy to ensure non-malignancy.
Individuals may also require lipoma removal if the growth:
Surgical excision is the most common form of lipoma removal. When patients come to the Calabasas Dermatology Center for surgical removal, our dermatologists will initially inject the area around the lipoma with a local anesthetic. The physician then makes a small incision into the skin and removes the growth. Finishing the procedure requires closing the incision with sutures and applying a dressing.
In some instances, our dermatologists may remove a lipoma using liposuction. After anesthetizing the area, the physician inserts the cannula beneath the skin. The device ruptures the capsule and removes the fat cells. The clinician then closes and covers the incision upon completion.
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