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    Lipoma

    What is Lipoma?

    Lipomas are defined as a common subcutaneous growth composed of adipose (fat) cells, often encapsulated by a thin layer of fibrous tissue. Lipomas are the most frequent tumours which are encountered by the clinicians. However, lipomas must be differentiated from liposarcoma with the help of biopsy as liposarcomas pose a greater risk to the patient.

    The prevalence of lipomas has been cited as affecting 1% of the population, while its incidence is 2.1 per 1000 individuals per year.

    Risk factors

    The exact aetiology of lipoma remains unclear. Evidence shows that there exists a genetic link, whereby about two-thirds of lipomas demonstrate genetic abnormalities. Also, a theory proposes that there is a direct positive correlation between trauma to an area and lipoma production. Other possible risk factors include obesity, alcohol abuse, liver disease, as well as glucose intolerance.

    Clinical signs of Lipoma

    On examination, lipoma appears as a soft, mobile mass of tissue felt under the skin. The mass is typically painless unless it involves joints, nerves, or blood vessels. Lipomas are generally present in the body's cephalic part like head, neck, shoulders and back. The tumour lies in the subcutaneous tissues. Malignant changes occur rarely in lipomas.

    Diagnosis

    The diagnosis may be confirmed by-

    • Physical examination conducted by the physician
    • Ultrasound of the mass
    • Biopsy (not performed usually as the diagnosis can be made clinically)

    General management

    Lipomas usually does not require immediate surgical treatment as they pose no threat to the patient. Also, it rarely happens that lipomas grow rapidly. Excision is only indicated when lipomas cause pain due to their location or affects an organ function.

    Warning: Above information provided is an overview of the disease, we strongly recommend a doctor's consultation to prevent further advancement of disease and/or development of complications.

    Disclaimer: The information provided herein on request, is not to be taken as a replacement for medical advice or diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. DO NOT SELF MEDICATE. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN FOR PROPER DIAGNOSIS AND PRESCRIPTION.

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