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    What are lipomas?

    Lipoma is the most common benign soft tissue tumor. Lipomas are most commonly found in subcutaneous fatty tissue. Superficial lipomas lying under the skin are slightly displaceable. They feel soft and do not cause pain. Lipomas can rarely lead to a narrowing of the median arm nerve (median nerve) or the ulnar nerve (ulnar nerve). Lipomas can usually be easily identified by ultrasound. In the case of close proximity to nerves or vessels as well as atypical examination findings, a nuclear spin examination is helpful. A malignant change is very rarely possible. Evidence of this can be found in rapid growth or pain. Malignant liposarcomas tend to affect patients between the ages of 50 and 65.

    What are the most common benign tumors of soft tissue?

    • Atheromas: An atheroma is a cavity filled with yellowish-white day in the subcutaneous tissue. It is caused by a flow disorder of the sebaceous glands. If it increases in size or if there is a risk of inflammation, it can be surgically removed.
    • Lipomas: A lipoma is a benign proliferation of fatty tissue cells. In rare cases, however, the growth can be malignant. Only surgical removal can confirm the diagnosis.

    How is a tumour of the soft tissue removed?

    The procedure is performed under local anesthesia, twilight sleep or general anesthesia as required. For local anaesthesia, either the skin in the operating area is anaesthetised or the nerve that supplies the operating area is specifically anaesthetised. During a twilight sleep you will also receive sedatives and painkillers via the bloodstream. The skin is injected with an adrenaline solution for an optimal gentle surgical technique and to minimize blood loss. The skin is incised over the palpable tumour or at a location close to the tumour which is favourable for scarring. Smaller vessels are sclerosed with the bipolar technique. Benign changes, which can be well delimited, are then closed. Ideally, very fine threads and an optical magnification are used. The wound edges are gently and precisely adapted so that the wound heals as inconspicuously and quickly as possible.

    Author’s statement

    Author: Stéphane Stahl, MD, PhD. There are no financial relationships with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries that could have influenced the above text. Any reproduction, even partial, is permitted for personal use only. All texts used on this website are protected by copyright.

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