A lipoma is a fatty mass that can occur anywhere on the body. While it is technically a tumor, it is typically a benign, non-cancerous process. This is very common and most of us probably have a few on unnoticeable ones on our bodies right now!
Where does it come from?
A lipoma can come from anywhere or nowhere! It can just show up one day and grows slowly to the point when you wake up one morning and notice a bump for the first time. However, there is also some suggestion that it may result from previous trauma that does not have to be particularly significant. Maybe you were accidentally hit in the arm by a door. Or a stroller bumped into your leg. A seemingly minor traumatic event can cause the body to form a cushion of fatty tissue as a way of protecting itself from future injury to that area.
What can you do about it?
If the mass is small as does not have any significant effect on your daily life, you do not have to do anything about it. However, if it begins to hurt, is growing large enough to be noticeable, or it just annoys you, then it is reasonable to have it removed.
Do I need to have surgery?
Yes, however, you do not necessarily have to be put to sleep. Instead, it can be a very minor procedure. If the mass is small enough, then it can be removed under local anesthesia. Something larger may require a type of conscious sedation where the patient is relaxed, but responsive.
To schedule a confidential consultation with Dr. Kaplan please contact our San Francisco office at(415) 923-3005 today.