Lipomas are subcutaneous soft tissue tumors or nodules that are usually slow growing and considered benign (not harmful). They have a firm, rubbery consistency, and tend to form on the trunk, shoulders and neck, but can appear elsewhere on the body.

Symptoms of Lipomas

Lipomas can appear as single nodules or in groups. Most lipomas are less than five centimeters in diameter and painless, but can cause pain when they compress nerves.

Treatment of Lipomas

Lipomas are not removed unless there is a cosmetic concern, compression of surrounding structures or an uncertain diagnosis. Lipomas generally do not extend into surrounding tissue, so they can be removed easily.

An alternative to standard excision is to manually squeeze the lipoma through a small incision. This technique is useful in areas with thin skin, such as the face and extremities. Liposuction also can be used to remove large lipomas with minimal scarring.