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What Is Multiple Lipoma?

By C. Webb
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Multiple lipoma is a condition producing more than one lipoma in a patient. Many cases of multiple lipoma are caused by genetics that indicate a family propensity toward the condition. The problem is not typically life threatening; however, many patients choose to have their lipomas surgically removed. Patients often discover after having multiple lipomas removed that more have grown in their place.

Lipomas are fibrous growths just under the skin. Comprised of fatty cells, they appear most often on the neck, upper legs, torso, and upper arm. They are also common in armpits. A diagnosis of multiple lipomas occurs when several to many lipomas occur throughout the body. Lipomas are the most common cause of benign soft-tissue growths.

The cause of multiple lipoma is unknown; however, it is believed to have a strong genetic component. In addition, lipomas can be triggered by a minor injury to the body, such as bumping into a door frame or a chest of drawers. Weight does not factor into who will develop multiple lipoma.

Individual lipomas in a multiple lipoma case are typically small, about 0.4 inches (1 cm). They grow just beneath the skin's surface and are easily felt during physical examination. Once developed, they stay the same size or grow extremely slowly. Individual lipomas are movable and feel rubbery to the touch. They are usually painless.

Diagnosis is done through physical examination. Treatment usually is not needed; however, physicians sometimes recommend surgical removal to be sure they are benign. Rare lipoma malignancies are sometimes found in kidney and bone lipomas.

Removal of multiple lipoma is recommended if symptoms develop. Lipoma symptoms include, pain, infection, discharge, repeated inflammation, interference with movement, and an increase in size. In addition, people have them removed because they can be unsightly. Surgical removal is typically done in a medical office setting. The patient is sent home following surgery, done on an out-patient basis.

Multiple lipoma may require several surgical appointments to remove. In addition, if there are many present or they are deeper than just under the skin, the patient will be admitted to a hospital and placed under general anesthesia for the surgical procedure. Most lipoma removal procedures involve the use of suture closing. Recovery instructions include watching for signs of surgical site infection.

Multiple lipoma appears most often in middle age. On rare occasions, children or senior citizens may develop the condition. While single lipoma incidences happen equally as often in men and women, multiple lipoma is more commonly seen in men. Lipomas found on internal organs are more serious than those just under the skin's surface. These lipomas can cause blockages and other issues.

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Discussion Comments
By anon1003587 — On Jul 27, 2020

This is not a cosmetic procedure in my opinion. Multiple lipomas can cause several problems and can lead to cancer in rare cases. They can also intrude and infiltrate on certain organs, especially deep-seated lipomas. You should get an opinion from , first your family doctor, then get referred to a dermatologist who performs such surgeries or a plastic surgeon who deals with lipomas. A diagnosis that they are harmful may convince the insurance company that this is not cosmetic surgery.

By Gin456 — On Oct 21, 2013

I am a 50 year old female. I began with a few lipomas on my back when I was 20 or so. In my 30s I found a doctor who tried liposuction, which did not work. I found an obscure website which said that steroid injections were being tried with some success.

My dermatologist injects a small amount of 5mg cortosteroid into each lipoma. Too much can cause the skin to atrophy, so he must be careful. The steroid causes the fat within the lipoma to dissolve. It is a simple, painless procedure and has worked miracles for me!

By anon346719 — On Aug 31, 2013

How much does it cost to have multiple lipomas removed surgically?

By anon345135 — On Aug 16, 2013

I have about 50 lipomas on my body. Some are on my chest, stomach, legs, feet, head, hands and near my private parts.

The insurance companies have rejected my claims. They told me that it is like cosmetic surgery.

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