Testing and Diagnosis

Because lipomas are surface growths, they have several qualities and symptoms that are detectable by the patient without the use of lab equipment or trained doctors. Symptoms and characteristics of lipomas include the following:

  • They are usually located directly under the skin.
  • They occur most commonly in the neck, shoulders, back, abdomen, arms and thighs.
  • They grow very slowly.
  • They feel doughy and soft.
  • They move easily when touched.
  • They are typically small, not more than two inches in diameter, but can grow to larger sizes.
  • Lipomas are typically not painful unless they press against a nerve or contain blood vessels.

While the above characteristics can help patients determine the likelihood of lipomas, they are nowhere near sufficient when it comes to a full diagnosis. Lipomas are noncancerous growths, but they do share some characteristics with harmful conditions. Because of this, it is crucial that patient seek professional care if they experience any unusual growth. At the Lipoma Center Los Angeles, we will give you rapid testing and a definitive diagnosis so you are not left in mystery and can move forward with effective treatment.

Testing for lipomas

At the Lipoma Center Los Angeles, there are several tests we use to help our patients understand their condition. Regardless of the outcome, our intention is to give patients the knowledge necessary to move forward with certainty, whether this means seeking treatment or not.

Testing of lipomas is done using the following methods:

  • A physical examination is often enough to determine whether the growth is a lipoma or something else. If there is any uncertainty, or if your doctor thinks further determination is necessary, he or she will call for a biopsy.
  • A biopsy, or a tissue sample, may be done to determine the exact nature of the growth. Once a tiny sample is removed with the use of a needle, it is examined in a lab.
  • Imaging tests may be used if the growth is larger than the average lipoma, or if it has unusual features or is deeper than the fatty tissue beneath the skin. These tests may include a CT scan, MRI or ultrasound, depending on what your doctor thinks is best.

After diagnosis

If your condition is determined to be something other than lipoma, further tests may be conducted to narrow it down. Our doctors have extensive diagnostic abilities and are highly skilled in the treatment of most medical conditions, putting you in safe hands.

If your condition is lipoma, that is good news. Lipomas are noncancerous, completely benign growths, so they do not present a threat to your health. Despite this, there are a number of reasons that patients choose to have their lipomas removed or treated, such as if the lipoma is:

  • Painful or tender to the touch
  • Inflamed or infected
  • Draining foul-smelling discharge
  • Interfering with function or movement
  • Increasing in size
  • Cosmetically displeasing, such as in the neck or other visible portion of the body

World-class care

If you’re looking for lipoma testing and diagnosis in Los Angeles, the Lipoma Center Los Angeles has the facility and doctors to give you the answers you need. Our doctors are not only well versed in the treatment of lipomas, but also have extensive training and experience in general and plastic surgery. This means that no matter the outcome of your diagnosis, they can make professional recommendations to help you recover. Call us today to set an appointment.