Lipomas are benign growths, or fatty tumors, that usually develop just beneath the skin and appear as skin lumps. They are the most common noncancerous growths of soft tissue, and often appear in the upper thighs, upper arms, torso, neck and armpits, although they can occur almost anywhere. There are many different lipoma causes and symptoms, as they can develop as a result of various factors.

You don’t have to live with lipomas. While most lipomas do not necessitate surgical removal or any other treatment options, there are certain cases in which removal is needed or desired by the patient. You can speak with a lipoma specialist at the world-renowned Lipoma Removal Center of Excellence in Los Angeles today to learn more.

What Causes Lipomas?


Lipoma causes are not completely understood, but there are many factors that can contribute to the formation of these fatty tumors.

The most common lipoma cause is an inherited genetic mutation or hereditary propensity for the development of lipomas. Another major cause is an injury that triggers the fat cells to form a lipoma or fatty tumor.

It is important to note that the majority of lipomas do not require any treatment, however patients often choose to have lipomas removed for cosmetic or comfort reasons. Upon examination, a lipoma specialist can determine the specific cause of your lipoma and advise you about removal.

Lipoma Symptoms

Most lipomas do not cause pain, and typically are about .4 to 1.2 inches in diameter. They are soft and movable, and have a rubbery consistency, and either grow slowly or remain the same size for years. These types of lipomas do not usually need to be removed, unless it is for cosmetic reasons. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek advice from a lipoma expert right away:

  • Lipoma is painful or tender to the touch
  • Lipoma has increased in size in a short period of time, or suddenly after a long period of little to no growth
  • Lipoma has become inflamed or infected
  • Foul-smelling discharge is coming from lipoma
  • Lipoma makes movement or function difficult

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What causes fatty tumors or lipomas?

A: While it is not known what causes each type of lipoma, the condition tends to be hereditary, and patients with a family history of lipomas may be more susceptible to the growths. Additionally, an injury may play a role in causing a lipoma to develop.

Q: Does being overweight cause lipomas?

A: No. Contrary to popular belief, lipomas are not thought to develop as a result of being overweight. They are most often hereditary, or caused by an injury.

Q: How are lipomas treated?

A: Most often, a lipoma doctor will treat a lipoma by removing it completely through a surgical procedure. The removal of the entire lipoma helps to ensure the lipoma does not reform later. Because it is a minimally invasive procedure, lipoma removal can be done on an outpatient basis, and patients can go home the same day as their surgery.

Q: When would I need to have my lipoma removed?

A: Lipomas usually do not need to be removed, but some patients find that the appearance of a lipoma is unsightly and may wish to have it removed for aesthetic purposes. Additionally, if the lipoma is painful, uncomfortable, or producing a discharge or foul odor, removing the lipoma may be necessary.

Contact a Los Angeles Lipoma Doctor

The causes of lipomas depend on each patient’s unique medical history, so it is important to consult with a lipoma specialist about your lipoma when it first develops. To schedule a consultation with a world-renowned lipoma surgeon at the Lipoma Removal Center of Excellence, please contact our outpatient surgery center.

You can reach our office by calling (888) 316-9905, or by filling out our online contact form.

Next, read about lipoma pain.