Lipomas are benign, slow-growing tumours made up of fat cells. Although they are generally harmless, their presence can cause discomfort or concern for some individuals. This blog will delve into the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for lipomas, with a particular focus on lipoma removal surgery in London.

What is a Lipoma?

A lipoma is a soft, fatty lump that grows under the skin. They are the most common type of benign tumour found in adults and can occur anywhere on the body where fat cells are present. While lipomas can develop at any age, they are most frequently found in middle-aged adults.

Causes of Lipomas

The exact cause of lipomas is not well understood. However, several factors may contribute to their development:

  1. Genetics: There is a strong genetic component, as lipomas tend to run in families. If a close relative has a lipoma, you may be more likely to develop one.
  2. Trauma: Some studies suggest that physical trauma or injury to a specific area can trigger the growth of a lipoma. However, this connection is not definitively proven.
  3. Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as Gardner’s syndrome and adiposis dolorosa (Dercum’s disease), are associated with the development of multiple lipomas.

Symptoms of Lipomas

Lipomas are usually asymptomatic, meaning they do not cause any symptoms. However, they can sometimes lead to discomfort or other issues, particularly if they grow large or are located near nerves or joints. Common characteristics of lipomas include:

  1. Soft to the Touch: Lipomas are typically soft and doughy. They can be easily moved under the skin.
  2. Painless: Most lipomas are painless, though they can become tender if they press against nearby nerves or blood vessels.
  3. Slow Growing: Lipomas grow slowly over months or even years. They are usually less than 5 centimetres in diameter but can sometimes grow larger.
  4. Location: Lipomas can appear anywhere on the body, but they are most commonly found on the neck, shoulders, back, abdomen, arms, and thighs.

When to See a Doctor

While lipomas are generally harmless, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional if you notice any unusual changes in your body. Seek medical advice if:

  1. The lipoma becomes painful or tender.
  2. The lump grows rapidly or changes in appearance.
  3. The lipoma restricts movement or causes discomfort.
  4. You are concerned about the cosmetic appearance of the lump.

Diagnosis of Lipomas

A doctor can often diagnose a lipoma through a physical examination. They will feel the lump and assess its texture, mobility, and size. In some cases, additional tests may be required to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other conditions, such as liposarcoma (a rare type of cancerous tumour). These tests may include:

  1. Ultrasound: This imaging technique uses sound waves to create a picture of the lump and can help determine if it is a lipoma.
  2. MRI or CT Scan: These imaging methods provide detailed images of the tissues and can help differentiate between benign and malignant tumours.
  3. Biopsy: In rare cases, a small sample of tissue may be taken from the lump and examined under a microscope to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment Options for Lipomas

Most lipomas do not require treatment unless they cause symptoms or cosmetic concerns. However, several treatment options are available for those who wish to have their lipomas removed.


If the lipoma is small, painless, and not causing any problems, your doctor may recommend simply monitoring it for any changes. Regular check-ups can help ensure that the lipoma is not growing or causing issues.

Surgical Removal

Surgical removal is the most common and effective treatment for lipomas. This procedure is typically performed under local anaesthesia, and involves making a small incision over the lump and removing the fatty tissue. Lipoma removal surgery London is widely available, and experienced surgeons can ensure minimal scarring and a quick recovery.


Liposuction is another option for removing lipomas, particularly if they are large or located in a sensitive area. This procedure involves using a thin, hollow tube (cannula) to suction out the fatty tissue. Liposuction may result in less scarring compared to traditional surgery, but there is a higher chance of the lipoma recurring.

Steroid Injections

Steroid injections can shrink the size of a lipoma, although they may not eliminate it completely. This treatment option is less invasive than surgery and may be suitable for individuals who cannot undergo surgery or prefer a non-surgical approach.

Lipoma Removal Surgery in London

For those considering lipoma removal surgery in London, it is essential to choose a qualified and experienced surgeon. London is home to many top medical facilities and specialists who can provide high-quality care. During your consultation, discuss your concerns, the procedure, and the expected outcomes with your surgeon. They will guide you through the process and help you make an informed decision.

Recovery and Aftercare

Recovery from lipoma removal surgery is generally quick and straightforward. Most patients can return to their normal activities within a few days. Aftercare instructions may include:

  1. Keeping the Incision Clean: Follow your surgeon’s instructions for cleaning and dressing the wound to prevent infection.
  2. Managing Pain: Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage any discomfort following surgery.
  3. Avoiding Strenuous Activity: Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activities for a few weeks to allow the incision to heal properly.
  4. Monitoring for Complications: Watch for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or discharge, and contact your doctor if any issues arise.


Lipomas are common, benign tumours that are usually harmless. However, they can cause discomfort or cosmetic concerns for some individuals. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for lipomas can help you make informed decisions about your health. If you are considering lipoma removal surgery in London, consult with a qualified surgeon to discuss your options and ensure the best possible outcome.