Any new lumps and bumps are understandably cause for concern, but know that doughy masses called lipomas are common and harmless. In fact, its’ estimated 1 of every 1,000 people will develop this fatty, slow-growing lump between the skin and underlying muscle. About 20 percent of those affected will develop more than one lipoma.
All this said, it’s important to have any new bumps, especially those that have grown rapidly or are painful, evaluated by Dr. Ron Shelton. In very rare cases, these lumps may not be lipomas at all. Liposarcomas occur at a rate of 2.5 cases per 1 million people. These cancers are present in fatty tissues. Some features distinguish these tumors from benign lipomas, such as:
- Fast growth
- Tender or painful sensation
- Firm, can’t be moved when you press on them
While lipomas can sometimes grow 8 inches across, they are usually no more than 2 inches around. They tend to appear on the shoulders, back, abdomen, arms and underarms, and thighs. They are thought to run in families, and some very rare inherited disorders such as Cowden’s and Gardner’s syndromes are associated with multiple lipomas. You are more likely to develop these fatty bulges between the ages of 40 to 60.
Lipomas typically are self-contained and don’t invade surrounding tissue. However, you may wish to have the lipoma removed should it affect muscle development, or press on nearby nerves. You may be self-conscious about how these bumps look, especially if they are larger than the typical lipoma or occur in visible areas.
Before any bumps may be removed, Dr. Shelton will diagnose the true nature of any lumps or swelling. He will examine your skin. If the suspect area is very large or appears to be deeper than the fatty tissue, an ultrasound or other imaging may be recommended for proper diagnosis.
If Dr. Shelton confirms the presence of a harmless lipoma, you may wish to monitor the spot or have it removed entirely. Removal requires little more than a minor surgery with local anesthetic. A small incision will be made and the lipoma can either be squeezed out or suctioned out using a thin cannula or tube.
Unlike other types of conditions, recurrences are infrequent. Lipomas do not increase your risk for other diseases, and lasting scarring or bruising post-removal is rare. There is no reason to spend another day worrying about suspicious bumps and lumps, especially when your answer to accurate lipomas diagnosis and removal is available in Midtown NYC, courtesy of Dr. Ron Shelton. Call 202-561-5808 to schedule an appointment.