Fatty tumors, also known as lipomas, are very common benign growths under the skin that occur when collections of fat cells multiply. They are generally soft and painless, but they can become uncomfortable if they grow large enough to rub on clothing. They tend to occur in middle aged to older individuals, and often multiple lipomas will appear in different parts of the body over time.
Lipomas are completely benign, meaning that they will not turn into cancer or some other serious medical problem. However, they can continue to grow which can be cosmetically unappealing. There is no reason to have a lipoma removed, except if you dislike the way it appears.
To remove a lipoma, you can see either a general surgeon
or a cosmetic surgeon
. Depending on where the lipoma is, you may want to see a cosmetic surgeon if scarring is an important consideration. The removal of the lipoma is quite simple and can usually be done in the doctor's office. After cleaning the area, a small amount of anesthetic medicine is injected right into the skin and then the lipoma can be comfortably removed. A few stitches will be left in place until healing has occurred.