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Benign Tumor  
benign tumor

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Definition  

A lipoma is a harmless lump of fat. There are several types, usually classified by where they appear. Lipomas may occur anywhere and are commonly are found just beneath the skin.

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Causes  

Lipomas have no known cause. They may be related to a previous injury to the tissue.

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Risk Factors  

Factors that increase your chances of developing a lipoma include:

  • Family history
  • Lipomatosis, a hereditary condition that results in lipomas all over the body
  • Adiposis dolorosa, a rare condition that results in painful lipomas
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Symptoms  

Lipomas are usually soft, painless, moveable lumps under the skin. They usually don't cause symptoms.

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Diagnosis  

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The diagnosis is usually based on smoothness, softness, and ease of movement under the skin. Your doctor may do a biopsy to rule out other skin conditions.

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Treatment  

Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. You may want to leave the lump alone. Treatment options include:

  • Surgical excision—lipomas are cut out
  • Liposuction—removes excess fat from under the skin
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Prevention  

There are no current guidelines to prevent lipoma.