ūüďě (212) 593-1818 | Book a consultation here

Ron Shelton M.D.

#317 East 34th Street,
11th Floor, New York, NY 10016. 


What is ‚Äča‚Äč lipoma?

A¬†lipoma‚Ä謆is¬†a¬†growth¬†of¬†fat¬†cells¬†that¬†develops¬†under¬†your¬†skin.¬†Actually,¬†it¬†is¬†a benign¬†(non-cancerous)¬†tumor¬†of¬†fat¬†cells.¬†¬†Lipomas¬†grow¬†slowly¬†and¬†can¬†become very¬†large¬†over¬†a¬†period¬†ranging¬†from¬†months¬†to¬†years.¬†Some¬†forms¬†of¬†lipomas, angiolipomas,¬†can¬†be¬†painful¬†or¬†sore¬†to¬†the¬†touch.

Where do lipomas form in the body?

A¬†lipoma‚Ä謆can¬†form¬†on¬†any¬†part¬†of¬†the¬†body,¬†but¬†they¬†typically¬†appear¬†on¬†the: neck,¬†shoulders,¬†torso,¬†upper¬†thighs,¬†upper¬†arms,¬†and¬†armpits.

Do lipomas develop at a particular age?

Despite¬†being¬†rare¬†for¬†children,¬†the¬†development¬†of¬†lipomas‚Ä謆is¬†not¬†restricted¬†to¬†a certain¬†age.¬†There¬†is¬†some¬†evidence¬†that¬†certain¬†lipomas¬†may¬†form¬†after¬†prior trauma¬†such¬†as¬†a¬†blunt¬†force¬†and¬†the¬†lipoma¬†may¬†not¬†appear¬†for¬†many¬†months¬†or years¬†after¬†the¬†injury.¬†Some¬†patients¬†seem¬†to¬†have¬†a¬†family¬†history¬†of¬†these¬†and whereas¬†many¬†people¬†who¬†have¬†a¬†lipoma,¬†only¬†have¬†one,¬†some¬†patients¬†have many.

Why should lipomas be removed?

Patients usually want them removed for cosmetic reasons when they are unsightly but they are removed for medical reasons should they become painful, or grow quickly.

Are lipomas cancerous?

Lipomas‚Ä謆aren't¬†cancerous¬†but¬†there¬†are¬†very¬†rare¬†cases¬†of¬†malignant¬†(cancerous) liposarcomas.¬†If¬†a¬†lipoma¬†has¬†not¬†been¬†present¬†very¬†long¬†and¬†is¬†growing¬†quickly, or¬†if¬†a¬†preexisting¬†lipoma¬†present¬†for¬†many¬†years,¬†suddenly¬†changes¬†size¬†or becomes¬†irregular¬†or¬†painful,¬†it¬†would¬†be¬†prudent¬†to¬†remove¬†it¬†and¬†send¬†the specimen¬†to¬†the¬†laboratory¬†for¬†a¬†diagnosis

What causes a lipoma?

What causes lipoma is not completely clear or understood but at times it can be genetic.

What are the symptoms of Lipoma?

Lipomas usually are not painful, therefore most people have no symptoms. Some lipomas are located not only underneath the skin and above the muscle, but penetrate the muscle layer. These may be more uncomfortable.

How are Lipomas treated?

The easiest and most common way to treat a lipoma is to remove it through a simple surgery under local anesthesia. Patients do not need to be hospitalised since surgery can be done as an outpatient. A dermatologist or a plastic surgeon can do the direct excision of the entire lipoma including its outer lining in order to prevent recurrence. Some doctors perform liposuction on lipomas but the chance of recurrence is greater than if it were completely removed by surgery. Kybella is FDA approved for fat dissolving in the neck but some doctors are now trying an off-label use to dissolve lipomas. It is not certain what the recurrence rate would be with this treatment.

Does lipoma excision leave a scar?

Larger excisions can leave a bigger scar, however Dr Shelton takes great effort  to make as small an incision as possible to remove the entire lipoma with excellent results and a faster recovery.  He has been able to remove lipomas larger than grapefruits through a half-inch  incision.

*Results may vary

What's next?

If you‚Äôre wondering, ‚ÄúWhat is a lipoma, and could I have it?‚ÄĚ schedule an evaluation with your New York specialist, Dr. Ron Shelton. Call (212) 593-1818¬†for an appointment in Midtown.