What is a fatty tumor(Lipoma) under the skin?

Fatty Tumors

These go under the professional name of lipomas. Everywhere under the surface of the skin there is a layer of fat, whose thickness varies in different parts of the body. It is one of the reasons why the skin can be moved about without sticking to the structure underneath. Sometimes the fat is not laid out as a carpet under the skin but forms an encapsulated glob or distinct lump. The occurrence of these fatty tumors is not increased in overweight people. They occur anywhere but especially in the extremities, abdominal wall and back.

Can you be absolutely sure that that is what it is? 

There are no absolutes in surgery, but it is possible to be correct in this diagnosis in the vast majority of instances. Occasionally something is underneath the fatty tumor, and near the belly button and the groin there may be an underlying hernia.

What should I do about it? 

If the lipoma is small and doesn't bother you, let it alone. If it causes you concern, it can readily be removed.

Can it grow larger? 

That is possible.

Can it disappear by itself? 

That is unlikely,

I have five or six of them in a straight line on my arm. How are they removed? 

The procedure is usually done under local anesthesia. The surgeon can remove all of them at the same time,although several incisions may be required. Usually an overnight hospital stay is not necessary.

Will it leave a scar? 

All incisions leave a scar. What you mean is can the scar be made inconspicuous. It should be.

What is Lipoma? (Fat Lump Under Skin)

Can the incision become injected? 

That is possible with any incision or cut. The doctor tries to avoid infection by cleaning the skin before the incision is made and by performing the operation under the best possible sterile conditions. This is one reason why the procedure is preferably done in a hospital on a come and go basis.

Is the tissue sent for examination? 

Of course.


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