A lipoma is a very common, benign fatty tumor that usually grows in the fat layer just beneath the skin and presents as a fairly discrete lump. Depending on its size and location within the tissues, it can cause a bulging of the overlying skin.
Lipomas can grow virtually anywhere on the body where there is fat or are fat cells – the arms, legs, abdomen, chest, back, neck and even the face. They can range in size from less than ½ inch to 5 inches or more. Much of the time they are asymptomatic but they can be associated with discomfort if they are either somewhat large or in areas where they are subjected to frequent compression, pressure or trauma.
Many people just have one lipoma whereas there are others who may have 10 to 20 or more. Some individuals even continue to develop new ones over time. There can be a familial predisposition.
Treatment consists of their direct surgical excision though, in rare situations, liposuction may be considered. The length of the incision used is usually proportionate to the size of the lipoma so that a small lipoma can be removed with a relatively short incision.
The type of anesthesia used for surgery would depend on several factors including the number of lipomas, their size, specific nature and location(s) as well as patient preference. This could include local anesthesia, sedation or even general anesthesia.
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