Lipomas can form on any part of one’s body. Lipomas on the neck are identified as rare, slow-growing benign tumours that usually do not present any symptoms (asymptomatic). However, it is possible that they may develop to be symptomatic and could cause various neck-related symptoms such as pain, dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing), and hoarseness.
Neck lipomas are most commonly found in the posterior (back) neck although they may also develop at any other region of the neck. Due to the lump’s nature and location, they would require surgical removal or treatment to excise the mass for aesthetic purposes.
Lipomas in the neck are also recommended to be treated should they cause pain or discomfort due to their anatomical structure.
What Causes Lipoma in the Neck?
The causes of a lipoma are not known. Research shows that lipomas are more prevalent in areas of the skin that may have sustained substantial impact from physical trauma. While it is unclear as to whether the trauma would cause a lipoma to form, genetic factors are another possible cause of developing lipomas.
Records have shown that people can inherit a faulty gene from their parents that can cause the development of one or more lipomas. This rare condition is known as familial multiple lipomatosis, suggesting that genetic factors could be a cause.
Lipomas have also been observed in people to develop more frequently in people with certain medical conditions, such as:
What Does A Lipoma In the Neck Feel Like?
A person with a lipoma will usually notice a lump that is soft to the touch just beneath the skin. Lipomas usually do not cause pain unless the nature of their anatomy affects the joints, organs, nerves, or even blood vessels. In most cases of lipoma, they are asymptomatic and will only grow in size gradually.
How Is A Neck Lipoma Diagnosed?
Skin lipomas are diagnosed during a physical examination done by your doctor. However, your doctor may want to remove it to ensure the growth is not cancerous.
A small tissue sample (biopsy) of your lipoma is required to be taken in some cases. This sample is then sent to the laboratory for testing and will help rule out any possibility of cancer or a liposarcoma, which is malignant.
When you have a skin condition that you are unsure of, seeking medical advice would be the most sensible option to identify if your condition is a lipoma or something more serious. Lipomas may look very similar to a liposarcoma, which is a cancerous condition.
How Do You Get Rid Of A Lipoma On The Neck?
A lipoma that is left alone usually does not cause any problems. However, it can be excised if the lump bothers you. Seeking a specialist’s advice in this field will allow you to receive the best treatment recommendation based on a variety of factors, including:
The size of your lipoma
The number of skin tumours you have
Your personal and family history of skin cancer
Whether the lipoma is painful
Lipomas can sometimes grow back even after they have been surgically removed. Lipomas are typically treated by removal through surgery. This may be especially useful if you have a large skin tumour that is still growing.
Such procedures are conducted in the doctor’s clinic or within an outpatient surgery centre. The surgeon will begin by injecting a local anaesthetic to the area surrounding the lipoma before making an incision in the skin to remove the growth. The incision will then be closed with stitches. For lipomas in areas of the body that are inaccessible, they may need to be removed in the operating theatre under general anaesthesia.
This procedure is known as an excision.
Liposuction is another treatment option. Since lipomas are fat-based, this procedure may be effective in reducing its size. Liposuction involves a needle attached to a large syringe. The area is usually numbed prior to the procedure.
Steroid injections may also be used directly on the affected area. This treatment can shrink the lipoma, but it does not remove it altogether.
Dr. Ganesh Ramalingam
Specialist in General Surgery
As a strong proponent of treating the patient holistically instead of just their condition, Dr Ganesh Ramalingam advises patients as to how they can manage their daily habits and diets to lead healthier lifestyles. As a consultant with G&L Surgical Clinic specialising in General Surgery, he sees many patients with conditions related to the stomach and is skilled in bariatric surgery, upper GI and hernia surgery, advanced laparoscopic surgery, endoscopies, and trauma.
G&L Surgical Clinic will do our best to provide you with an estimate of your out-of-pocket expenses before your procedure. With a comprehensive financing service, we endeavour to assist you in finding the most suitable financing option to enjoy a seamless and pleasant experience. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. We are here to help you get the care you need.