Subcutaneous lipoma, ultrasound, back, neck, symptoms, removal

The lipoma is a benign tumor out fat cells, which gradually accumulate in a delicate capsule of connective tissue, which is usually located just under the skin.

A lipoma is not a carcinoma and does not develop into a malignant tumor.
Lipomas are often found in:

  • neck,
  • neck,
  • thigh,
  • Arm (upper arm or elbow),
  • Chest (for example between the ribs),
  • armpit.

They can form anywhere on the body, including the face.
One or two lipomas can be present at the same time.
Lipomas are the most common benign soft tissue tumors.

There is no scientific evidence that lipoma has an increased risk of developing into later melanoma.
Even so, lipomas can sometimes change to a malignant tumor called liposarcoma.
These are usually:

  • large (5 cm and more in diameter),
  • grow rapidly.

Anyone who is worried about a lipoma growing in size should consult a doctor.

A lipoma can also appear in the adipose tissue internal organs develop, for example in:

  • chest,
  • kidney,
  • Digestive system and intestines.

Sometimes magnetic resonance imaging or other examinations lead to the accidental discovery of a lipoma inside the body.

As a rule, the researchers give the lipomas their name:

  • after position of their appearance,
  • after this tissue, of which they are made.

Benign tumors contain adipose tissue and may:

  • Collagen and other fiber tissue,
  • Vascular structures (angiolipoma or angiomyolipoma),
  • muscle tissue.

Usually they are hereditary, but they can also develop as a result of:

As a rule, people who have such a soft tissue tumor do not need therapy unless the tumor mass presses on a nerve and is therefore uncomfortable.
In rare cases, a duodenal lipoma can cause bleeding in the digestive system.


  • Angiolipomas mostly develop as node structures on the arms or on the chest of adolescents.
  • This type of tumor bears this name because, in addition to the fat or obese tissue, the tumor mass contains complex vascular structures.
  • People who have these accumulations of cells usually complain of symptoms.
  • The tumor mass is usually painless and good under the skin movable. This type of lipoma is the most common and contains adipose tissue encased in a connective tissue capsule.
  • Subcutaneous lipomas can be different size from a pea to a few centimeters in diameter (giant lipoma).

Pleomorphic lipoma
The pleomorphic lipoma usually appears:

  • in the neck,
  • at the top move (dorsal or lumbar),
  • on the shoulder.

In contrast to the typical knot structure, the content of this mass varies in fat content.
Multinuclear giant cells are also found in various forms in adipose tissue.

Spindle cell lipoma

  • Spindle cell lipoma is a rare variant of a benign, atypical adipose tissue tumor.
  • The spindle cell lipoma is often confused with a liposarcoma (malignant tumor).
    These growths are often much more palpable than a typical lipoma.
    The spindle cell lipoma is gray, white and yellow in color. In addition to adipose tissue, the tumor contains fibrous bundles of spindle cells.
  • These tumor masses are usually observed in men between 45 and 70 years of age.


  • Fibrolipoma is a combination of adipose and connective tissue.
  • It can develop anywhere on the body, but is mostly found around the mouth or on the lips, as well as everywhere in the intestinal tract.
  • Often these masses can:
  • Put pressure on a nerve,
  • cause lymphedema.


The rarest form is the myelolipoma. These tumors contain:

  • adipose tissue,
  • white and red blood cells and platelets, similar to the bone marrow.

They only develop inside or outside the adrenal glands.

  • is often found in men between 40-60 years,
  • usually shows no symptoms,
  • is often discovered by accident.

Affected patients may experience symptoms such as:

Lipoma racemosum

The Lipoma racemosum is a benign tumor mass that is not enclosed by a delimiting capsule. Therefore, when removing this lipoma, the surgeon must check that all of the affected adipose tissue has been removed.


The rare cancer of adipose tissue is called liposarcoma. It almost never forms under the skin.
Liposarcoma is a deep-seated tumor and usually develops:

  • on the leg (on the outer quadriceps),
  • inguinal,
  • on the upper and forearm,
  • in the peritoneum.

If the lipoma grows rapidly or becomes painful, the doctor should be consulted.
A skin biopsy may be necessary to rule out liposarcoma.

Liposarcoma types

  1. In older people, especially men, most liposarcomas of the skin (subcutaneous tissue) atypical lipomatosis (well differentiated). This is a tumor intermediate between lipoma (benign) and liposarcoma (malignant).
  2. The myxoid liposarcoma rarely occurs in the skin and subcutaneous tissue (it occurs in soft, deeper tissue layers).
  3. The pleomorphic liposarcoma occurs in exceptional cases as the primary tumor of the skin.

Classification of lipomas based on their location

The lipoma types due to the area in which they occur are:

  • intramural lipoma (affects the colon)
  • intestinal lipoma
  • cardiac lipoma (occurs in areas of the heart, can be dangerous if heart valves are affected)
  • visceral lipoma (may appear on organs or in the intestines of the body, for example on the kidneys)
  • meningeal lipoma
  • gastric lipoma (in the submucosa of the gastric mucosa)
  • palmar lipoma (on the palm)
  • Lipoma at the filum terminale (forms inside a ligament that runs from the end of the spinal cord to the tailbone)
  • sacral lipoma (in the area of ​​the sacrum)
  • subcutaneous superficial lipoma

Intramuscular lipoma
An intramuscular lipoma is a benign tumor made up of adipose cells that forms inside muscle tissue.
You can find it;

It consists of an adipose tissue tumor that forms within muscle fibers. An intermuscular lipoma develops between the muscle groups. The type of tumor is identical in both cases.

The tumor appears as a bulge in the skin.
Most of these intramuscular fat masses are very small, measuring less than 1 or 2 centimeters in diameter.
Because of its location, an intramuscular lipoma is much more troublesome than other types of lipoma.

Other areas of the body
Rarely can a lipoma form inside the body.
However, the person who has this type of tumor is not aware of it because you cannot see it and rarely causes problems.

How to distinguish a lipoma from other skin growths

There are many types of skin tumors, but a lipoma usually has certain features.
If you suspect a lipoma, you will usually find the following features:

  1. soft tactile finding, easily slid between the fingers,
  2. just under the skin,
  3. pale or skin-colored.

The lipoma is only painful if it grows on a nerve under the skin.
Typically, lipomas are soft and you can feel their mobility under the skin when you press them.
A cyst can be squeezed, but it does not move sideways, and it has a fluid content.

Who has a lipoma and how common is it?

  • Anyone can develop a lipoma at any age.
  • Lipomas are common, about 1 person in 1,000 develops one or more in life.
  • Some people have an inherited predisposition to develop lipomas and can develop various masses of fat in the body.
    There are people who have up to 20 lipomas (lipomatosis).
  • It is more common, however, that only one or two such tumors occur.
  • Lipomas can occur in normal-weight or overweight people, so the diet has no influence.

Causes of subcutaneous lipoma

The exact cause of the lipoma is unknown.
Lipomas are often inherited, so genetic factors play a role in their development.

risk factors
Various factors can increase the risk of developing a lipoma. These include:
1. age between 40 and 60 years, although lipomas can develop at any age. Lipomas rarely occur in children.
2. Different diseases. People with other disorders have an increased risk of developing multiple lipomas, including:

  • a rare hereditary disease that Lipomatosis after crab, where fat cell groups form under the skin and painful fat nodes form in different areas of the body; on:
  • arms,
  • hull,
  • thighs.
  • Obesity dolorosa (Dercum’s disease),
  • Madelung disease (multiple symmetric lipomatosis),
  • Cowden syndrome,
  • Gardener’s syndrome.
  • 3. Some scientists believe that there is a posttraumatic Cause there.

    Symptoms of a lipoma

    • Taken alone, lipomas are not a serious disease and for the most part they do not cause symptoms or problems.
    • They grow very slowly.
    • Sometimes a subcutaneous lipoma can be very uncomfortable because it grows up to a few centimeters.
    • Rarely can a lipoma press on other structures and thus lead to health problems.
      For example, it can cause pain when pressing on a nerve.
    • In rare cases, a lipoma can form in the intestinal wall and cause symptoms such as:
    • stomach pain,
    • bowel obstruction.

    Therapy of the lipoma

    After discovering an ulcer that grows slowly on your skin, consider whether there are other symptoms you are suffering from.
    A list of all drugs used helps to identify and rule out other causes that could have led to the formation of the tumor mass.

    Because lipomas are benign tumors, depending on their symptoms, they may not require therapy.
    If no treatment is necessary, regular check-up by the doctor is important for any changes.
    A lipoma can be mistaken for a cyst.

    cortisone infiltrations
    The main treatments for lipoma are cortisone infiltration or injection of phosphatidylcholine.
    This remedy reduces lipoma but cannot remove all of the fat.
    The injections cause lipolysis (fat loss).

    Liposuction is another effective procedure.
    This procedure uses a cannula and a large syringe to remove the fat.
    This is an option if the lipoma is soft and has a small amount of connective tissue.
    A relapse cannot be avoided, especially if the lipoma is large.

    The therapy that serves to completely remove a lipoma is a simple surgical operation.
    Method. In such an intervention, a local anesthetic is injected around the tumor to numb the area.
    Large or deep-seated lipomas are removed in a conduction or general anesthetic.
    After anesthesia, the doctor performs:

    • a skin incision through
    • and removes the tumor.

    recovery. After the procedure, you are usually able to go home.
    A small skin suture is made, the stitches of which the doctor removes after two weeks.
    How long it takes to be able to go back to your daily activities depends on:

    recurrences. Lipomas can almost always be removed by simple excisions. It is rare for a lipoma to come back, but if it does, re-excision is the best treatment.

    When should a lipoma be operated on??

    Typically, the doctor advises surgical removal if:

    • the patient feels constant pain or numbness in the area;
    • infection or inflammation develops in the area;
    • that the lipoma (s) are an obstacle in daily well-being if they cause discomfort or continuously increase in size.

    The operation is usually performed on an outpatient basis.
    General anesthesia is not required unless internal organs are affected.
    Local anesthesia is sufficient to remove a superficial lipoma.

    Misconceptions about lipomas

    The American Cancer Society classifies lipomas as benign tumors.
    The tumors can be cancerous, but lipomas are not malignant. This means that lipoma cannot spread.
    The disease does not spread to muscles or other surrounding tissues.
    The lipoma is not fatal.

    You can’t have a lipoma Folk remedies reduce.
    Ice and heat packs can help with other types of skin swellings help, but they are of no use to lipomas because they are based on fat cells.
    Ultrasound doesn’t help remove lipomas.


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    Christina Cherry
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