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What is lipoma?

Lipoma is a benign soft tissue tumor made up of adipose tissue and a fibrous sheath. The formation is common in both men and women, has variable sizes and can occur in almost any area of ​​the body.

Lipomatosis is a term that refers to the widespread presence of multiple lipomatous formations that can occur in various areas of the body.

Clinical features and symptoms

Lipoma has variable dimensions, is mobile, has a soft consistency, gelatinous on palpation.

It is generally asymptomatic and grows slowly over time, reaching large sizes and then causing local symptoms by compressing the underlying structures.

Causes of lipomas

The causes of lipomas are not yet fully known. Familial lipomatosis is a condition that is genetically transmitted and causes the presence of lipomas in the body and there are other causes such as dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, alcohol consumption, large weight changes or metabolic disorders


The diagnosis is established after consultation after performing the local clinical examination. Investigations such as soft tissue ultrasound and MRI may be useful to be able to make a differential diagnosis with other tumors or when the lipoma is large and compresses certain structures.

Treatment of lipomas

The treatment options for lipomas are as follows:

-surgical removal- with complete excision of the lipoma together with its capsule and careful dissection with the identification of the elements it compresses, suturing of the skin and removal of sutures after 7-14 days postoperatively depending on the area where the lipoma is located. By surgery, only a part of the lipomas can be removed, usually the unsightly ones, large ones or the symptomatic ones.

-injectable lipolysis- removal by injecting substances that "melt" the fat, which is then metabolized by the lymphatic system (based on phosphatidylcholine or enzymes).

liposuction - the extraction of fat deposits with the help of special cannulas through small incisions. In the case of this procedure, the risk of recurrence is high, as the entire lipoma cannot be removed.

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