These are frequent benign tumors, surrounded by a capsule and containing mature adipocytes. At about 60%, these tumors are associated with gene change.
Lipomas are rare in the under-20s and usually occur after the 3rd decade of life. They may be located on the dorsal surface of the trunk, neck or forehead, but may also appear in other parts of the body.
They are usually asymptomatic, well circumscribed, soft masses that gradually increase in size. They may be superficial, subcutaneous or intramuscular.
In large (> 10cm), deep or fast growing lipomas, MRI scanning is required. A rapidly growing lipoma should be carefully examined to rule out the possibility of a malignant liposarcoma.
The existence of multiple lipomas may be associated with Gardner’s syndrome, where colon polyps, other tumors and sebaceous cysts coexist.
Lipomas are treated for aesthetic reasons, for diagnostic purposes, or when they cause pain and pressure in a nerve.
Surgical removal of the lipoma along with its capsule (lipoma excision), with histological examination, is the treatment of choice and has excellent results.