WHAT IS A LIPOMA AND HOW IS IT RELATED TO LIPEDEMA?
Lipedema is a progressive disease that, in some instances, involves the growth and development of lipomas. Lipomas are noncancerous soft-tissue tumors that patients develop most often in adulthood. These slow-growing, fatty lumps appear just beneath the skin. Patients can have more than one lipoma, which are “doughy” to the touch but rarely tender. Lipedema patients can experience this overgrowth of fat cells in conjunction with their condition, and finding an expert to treat them may be necessary if lipoma growths become painful.
Dr. Jaime Schwartz is one of the leading experts in the country on lipedema. Lipedema is a progressive disease revolving around excessive fatty-fluid buildup in mainly female patients. Dr. Schwartz is a board-certified plastic surgeon and founder of Total Lipedema Care (TLC) in Beverly Hills, CA. For women who are living with this disease, lipomas or benign growths are part of the equation in some cases. Here is a breakdown of lipedema and lipomas, and how a specialist like Dr. Schwartz can diagnose and treat patients with both.
• Usually small (less than 2 inches in diameter), but can grow larger
• Have a “doughy” texture and feel soft to the touch they — can move with slight finger pressure
• Normally seen in the neck, arms, armpits, chest, back, shoulders, abdomen, and thighs
• Typically located just beneath the skin’s surface but can be deeper
• Painful if located on a nearby nerve or deeper in the body on joints, organs, or blood vessels
• They can occur at any age but are most often detected during adulthood
• Lipomas can occur as a single lump or multiple instances
• They are benign growths, so they are not cancerous
• Tend to run in families
• Usually occur around middle age
• Liposuction: This can remove the lipoma beneath the skin’s surface during a minor outpatient procedure
• Surgical removal: An extraction technique that Dr. Schwartz uses to surgically remove the lipoma through a small incision