Lipomas are known as fat tissue under skin, but they are biochemically different from normal fat, having increased levels of lipoprotein lipase and many precursor cells. The majority of lipomas feature clonal alterations, involving a breakpoint on band 12q13-15. Generally, no fatalities were reported with lipomas, but mild tenderness is occasionally associated with them. These fatty tissue occur at any age, but are rare in infants and children.
Lipomas are classified in categories such as:
- diffuse congenital lipomatosis are localized mainly on the trunk and tumors can get through muscle fibers; are made of immature fat cells
- familial multiple lipomatosis are well-demarcated, encapsulated lipomas, affecting the extremities
- benign symmetric lipomatosis (Madelung disease) include lipomas of the head, neck, proximal upper extremities and also shoulders; other conditions associated with these lipomas are malignant tumors of the upper airways, hyperuricemia,peripheral neuropathy, obesity, renal tubular acidosis and liver disorders
- Dercum disease (adiposis dolorosa) that involves painful lipomas
- hibernomas refer to solitary well-circumscribed nodules, asymptomatic, located in the axxilae, neck, mediastinum or interscapular region
- solitary lipomas are small, superficial and develop with weight gain
- angiolipomas are soft, tender and subcutaneous nodules, sometimes firmer than ordinary lipomas; usually, they emerge during teenage
Details about lipomas:
- rubbery consistence
- they can be lobulated
- are subcutaneous nodules of about 2-10 cm
- the skin overlying them is normal and there are no connections to the tumor
- the most affected parts of the body are neck, back and proximal extremities also
In case there are suspicions of cancer, the only solution to find the answer is through CT scanning, ultrasonography and biopsy. The main surgical techniques are:
- simple surgical excision of lipomas by dissecting the mass from the surrounding fat tissue
- squeeze technique, used for superficial and small lipomas
Your doctor will decide which is the most suitable and less risky technique for you after he will examine you and after medical test results.
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