A lipoma is a non-cancerous tumor that grows under the skin as a fat deposit. Do lipomas hurt? In general, they don’t. Yet, there are times when you feel you might want lipoma surgery. When should a lipoma be removed? Let’s find out.

What is a Lipoma?

Lipomas are soft and rubber benign lumps. These benign tumors are commonly found on the arms, shoulders, buttocks, and upper back and thighs. Smaller lipomas can be slightly pushed. Lipomas that grew deeper under the skin are often less mobile.

There are numerous types of lipoma. Conventional lipoma has the common white fat, while hibernoma is characterized by brown fat. Other types have fat mixed with tissue or cells.

No one knows about exact lipoma causes. Possible lipoma causes may be attributed to genetic defects, making the tumors hereditary. No matter how healthy your diet is, like eating fruits for digestion, you can still have lipomas.

Lipoma Surgery
Lipoma Surgery

Physical Examination

Do lipomas hurt? They do for some people. If you experience a painful lipoma, visit a doctor. A doctor often asks questions about your medical history before doing a physical examination. Assessment of your general health and current condition is done.

You will be asked how long you’ve had the mass and if there are any pain symptoms. The doctor feels the mass during the physical examination to check its size, mobility, and consistency. This helps the doctors with determining whether it is a cyst or lipoma before moving forward with treatment.

Imaging Tests

Imaging tests can be done on top of a physical examination.


X-rays not just show clear images of the bone but also of prominent shadows that can be caused by soft tissue mass like a lipoma.

CT Scan

Computerized Tomography (CT) scans provide more details of the fatty mass. They are useful in confirming a lipoma diagnosis.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans create better images of the fatty mass. The soft tissue is shown in detail and lipoma can be diagnosed using MRI even without a biopsy.


A biopsy is done to take a tissue sample of the lipoma. A microscope is used to examine the specimen. Most of the time, a biopsy is not done to confirm a diagnosis but is performed after the removal of a lipoma.

Lipoma Causes
Lipoma Causes

When Should a Lipoma be Removed?

Lipoma surgery is unnecessary unless your doctor recommends it. In general, lipomas aren’t painful, but some subtypes, just like angiolipoma, may manifest pain. Surgical procedures are done to remove the lipoma if it grows larger or becomes painful.

Getting people with lipoma to be assessed can be as hard as increasing patient volume in the dental clinic. If you want to avoid lipoma treatment, visit your doctor regularly for monitoring of the tumor.

Lipoma Treatment

Excision is a surgical procedure done to remove a lipoma completely. A local anesthetic is injected into the affected area to numb the pain. A larger area may require the injection to target specific nerves. Regional anesthesia often works and, in some cases, general anesthesia may be necessary. Once the anesthesia is administered, an incision to cut the tumor out will be done by your doctor.

You can go home right after the lipoma treatment. Recovery is quick and you can limit some activity depending on the affected area’s location. No specific diets are necessary, so you don’t have to worry if fruitarian diets are safe. Lipomas rarely recur and if they do, another excision will be done.

To know when should a lipoma be removed, visit your doctor. Practice safety measures at all times for your overall health.

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