What is lipoma

Lipoma (adipose tissue growth)

Lipomas are benign, i.e. benign, slowly growing new formations in adipose tissue. They occur under the skin and are also known as benign tumors. In rare cases, however, the fat pads can also lie deeper and appear between the muscles. While most lipomas develop individually, there are often familial cases in which lipomas occur in groups.


The term benign tumor comes from the fact that the lipoma grows in size, but does not spread to other tissues and organs and damage them. The skin over the lipoma is also completely intact.


So far there is no reliable cause for the degeneration of the adipose tissue. It is assumed that there is a genetic change in the fat cells, the so-called adipocytes.


The lipomas usually grow slowly, sometimes over years, and are only perceived by those affected once they have reached a clearly palpable size. The size of the lipoma varies greatly and ranges from a few millimeters to a fist-sized fat lump that can be a good 20 centimeters in diameter. Since the consistency of the fat pads is soft and elastic, they often cause no pain at all. Symptoms only arise when the lipoma is unfavorably positioned, when it rubs against clothing, when it comes to pressure points when sitting, or when it borders on nerve tracts. In addition, the protrusions can be disturbing from a cosmetic point of view.