Fat bump, lipoma common skin condition

Vetbult of lipoom komt veel voor, en hoe groter ze zijn, hoe ontsierender. Dermatoloog, Francis Wu, legt wat het zijn en hoe ze weggehaald kunnen worden.

Adipose tissue cells

Another name for a fat lump is a lipoma. Lipoma is a benign tumor made up of adipose tissue cells and is located in the subcutaneous tissue (the part under the dermis).

Lipoma Fat Bump

Heredity plays a role

It is a common condition and occurs mainly in middle age. It is unclear how lipomas arise, but there is a hereditary component. Excess weight does not play a role.

They are often localized on the neck, shoulders, upper arms, back and thighs. It feels doughy and the overlying skin is normal in color and texture. It moves freely over the skin and is attached to the base layer. A lipoma has a smooth surface.

Slow growing

Lipoma grows very slowly and can reach 2 to 10 cm in size, sometimes even larger. A rapidly growing tumor is probably not a lipoma.

About 7% of people with lipomas have multiple fat bumps. They are spread over the body, but can sometimes also be found in 1 body part. Lipomas generally do not cause any complaints, but sometimes it is painful when a lipoma pushes against a nerve.

Lipoma variant and others
  • Angiolipomas: 10% of lipomas are the benign highly vascularized angiolipomas and are located in the neck, neck, palms, soles of the feet. These lipomas are smaller 0.5-5cm and can cause more pain. The complaints can occur at a young age, a study showed an average age of 17 years.
  • A rare lipoma variant is adiposis dolorosa (Dercum disease) and occurs most often in postmenopausal women, the average age is 35 years. Heredity plays an important role. It occurs in 16% of men. In addition to multiple painful lipomas in the torso, buttocks, upper arms and legs, obesity, fatigue, dry eyes and dry mouth and depression also occur.
  • Other bumps under the skin: sebaceous gland cysts, lymph nodes, fibromas, neurofibromatosis, lymphomas.
Physical examinination

Often the clinical picture is clear to make a diagnosis of lipoma. On physical examination, a fat lump is attached to the lower layer, has a smooth surface, is well demarcated (where the fat tissue begins and ends) and is separate from the skin. Sometimes ultrasound, CT scan or MRI with possibly tissue research is used if the image is unclear.


Lipomas do not disappear with cold or hot packs, nor with massages or diets.

Cosmetically disturbing lipomas or lipomas that cause complaints such as pain can be removed.

Superficial and well-encapsulated lipomas can be easily removed surgically under local anesthesia, but poorly demarcated lipomas are not. Because it is deeper than originally thought (back, shoulder blades, ribs) or between vulnerable structures such as nerve and blood vessels.

See youtube for the procedure

There is a chance that a lipoma will come back.

Liposuction for small lipomas is another alternative and causes less scarring. In medium-sized (4-10 cm) and large lipomas (>10 cm), the risk of recurrence is high because it is not always possible to remove the entire lipoma.


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