Lipomas are harmless subcutaneous (occur in the deepest layer of skin) tumors or nodules. Lipomas feel soft and fatty and are enclosed by a thin, fibrous capsule. They can appear anywhere on the body, however, they often form on the trunk, shoulders, and neck. A lipoma can develop as an isolated nodule or develop along with several nodules in an isolated location. An average lipoma spans about 5cm in size and presents with minimal symptoms aside from feeling tender to the touch. Lipomas do not infiltrate surrounding tissue and organs and for that reason, there is generally no need to have them removed. One may want a lipoma to be removed for cosmetic reasons or if the mass is causing pain by compressing a surrounding nerve. In such an event, the lipoma may be surgically removed. Of late, liposuction has been used to remove lipomas leaving behind a more cosmetically appealing scar.
For the above conditions, our dermatologic surgeons may perform a biopsy, which is covered by most insurances. A biopsy is simply a test where the doctor takes a sample of the infected tissue and sends it to our lab for further examination and to determine whether a disease is present.