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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.