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Lipoma – Fatty swelling

There are many things in the world which are not

fully understood. One among them in the medical
world is lipoma. Lipoma is a benign (non-
malignant or non-cancerous) tumour of adipose
tissue (fat). It is a soft, localised, well
circumscribed, painless swelling located mainly in
the subcutaneous tissues (i.e. just under the skin)
of the head, neck, shoulders, hands, legs and

What is adipose tissue?

Adipose tissues are nothing but fat. It is a combined product (esterification) of fatty
acids (contains carbon, hydrogen and oxygen) and glycerin. Humans are usually
covered with adipose tissue as a blanket which gives beauty and keeps the body
warm and soft. The adipose tissue not only functions as an insulating layer which
prevents heat loss but also acts as a reservoir and source of energy release with fat
'Katradhu Tamizh' Ram's next
Nowadays, food is mostly prepared with oil Diwali in Suburbs
since it improves taste. Oils are very rich Rajini Still In A Dilemma!
sources of fat. Even though fat is essential for
absorbing fat soluble vitamins vitamin A, D, E அஜீத ேபடட?
and K, excess fat often causes high cholesterol ராம இயககததில ேசரன?
level, obesity, endocrine hormonal disorders, கமல பாராடடய ைடடடல்்
arteriosclerosis, coronary heart diseases, etc.,
confirming the proverb, anything in excess makes waste.

Incidences - Even though lipoma can occur in all ages, it is more commonly seen
in the third and fourth decade of life. Women suffer more than men; and usually
from single lipoma than multiple lipomas. In the case of men, it is mostly multiple.
The multiple occurrence of lipoma is called Adiposa dolorosa which can run in
families. Childhood (congenital) lipomas are mostly inherited and rare.

Common Sites - Lipoma can occur anywhere in the body. The common occurrence
sites are fat depositing areas like nape of the neck, shoulder, back, trunk, buttocks,
hips, thighs, arms, forearms and belly (abdomen muscles). Most of lipoma is
subcutaneous, but it can also occur in deeper tissues like subserous (liver, lungs,
heart, etc.), subsynovial (joints), submucous (oral, oesophagus, etc), subperitoneal
(inside abdomen), intramuscular, etc.

CAUSES - Unknown. Many people relate the causative factor with eating fatty
things and being obese, but nothing is true or scientific. They are sometimes
supposed to run in the family.

SYMPTOMS – Except swelling or mass which causes cosmetic disfigurement, no

other symptoms are usually seen.
Characteristics of lipoma:

 Usually it will be round or oval in shape with

variable size
 It is freely movable and is not attached to the skin
or deeper tissues
 It is smooth in surface, rubbery in consistency and
slippery in the edges
 Their margins are well-defined and feel as if the
swelling is enclosed in a capsule
 It grows very slowly.

COMPLICATIONS – Usually it is nil. It never gets malignant or cancerous unlike

other tumours. Infection and calcification (hardening) can occur in a constant
pressure area or movement area. Rarely, it causes a fatal condition by complicating
the functioning of the lungs. Lipoma can occur in the breast, liver, digestive organs,
oesophagus, etc., producing symptoms according to the situation. Adiposis dolorosa
or dercum’s disease is a rare condition characterised by multiple painful lipomas.
Lipomas may rarely undergo sarcomatous changes to cause liposarcoma.

Diagnosis – Even though lipoma can be confirmed by clinical examination with its
texture, freely movable nature, slippery edges and lack of attachment to adjacent
tissues, confirmation may be necessary with biopsy and histo-pathological reports,
to rule out other complications or diseases. CT, MRI and soft tissue radiographs can
give an idea about lipoma. Cholesterol level is often found to be within normal
limits, even though lipoma is supposed to be a tumour of fatty tissue (deposition of

TREATMENT – In general, lipoma is left untreated because there is no known

method of treating it or because it is harmless. Doctors and patients opt for surgical
removal if there is a large or small single lipoma and if it disturbs functioning. For
small lipomas, nowadays, liposuction is often preferred and followed to have
minimal scarring. But most of large ones are excised only with incisions. Even when
removed, there can be recurrences. Liposuction has more recurrence rate due to
left residuals, whereas in surgical incisional removal, since it is removed
completely, including the capsule, the recurrence rate is less.

Homeopathic Approach on lipoma - Lipoma is a cosmetic illness. Does surgical

excision cure the condition? No. So, never go for surgical options to get it removed
unless it gives any persistent symptom due to localised pressure. Usually surgical
removal causes it to spread to other places for unknown reasons. So surgeons
never assure non-recurrence in the same or other places.

Some people think that the lipoma is due to excess fat content of the body or
obesity and so they keep on doing exercise and diet restriction to reduce weight.
Even after reducing weight considerably, there won’t be any change in the lipoma.
Also, sometimes they are noticed with more visibility or prominence than before,
since they might have been in the fat.

Even though nobody thinks of Homeopathy for lipoma, considering it as a pure

surgical disorder, Homeopathy can treat lipoma. Like other systems of medicines,
there is no guarantee for complete cure in Homeopathy also. But Homeopathy
treatment can surely arrest new lipoma formation and continued growth of existing
lipomas. Also there will be reduction in size of the lipomas to residuals i.e., swelling
gets softened and flattened, so that visibility can be reduced. Better results can be
attained if treatment is started earlier - just after diagnosis. If it is in initial stages,
it will disappear completely. The treatment procedure will be a slow process. There
is no other go for fast relief except surgery. In Homeopathy, removal of lipoma by
surgery is considered removal of the effects of the disease and not removal of the
cause or disease itself. So there will be recurrence of the disease. Homeopathy
treatment can abort this tendency by improving the immune system.

Commonly prescribed Homeopathic remedies for lipoma are - Baryta carb, Bryonia,
Calc Ars, Calc carb, Calc flour, Hepar sulph, Lapis alb, Nux vom, Phytolacco,
Radium brom, Silicea, Spigelia, Thuja, etc. These medicines should be taken under
the advice and diagnosis of a qualified Homeopath.