Medical Q&As

Lipoma - rare in children?

My 3 year old daughter had a lipoma removed from under her left armpit in November of last year. We were informed that lipomas are quite rare in children and that it would not recur. However, it seems to have come back in the same place nearly exactly a year later. What causes lipomas to form and will she need to undergo surgery to remove it again?

A lipoma is a benign lump under the skin that is composed of fatty tissue. Lipomas may be multiple or single and can occur in childhood. However, they occur most commonly in women over the age of forty. They occur much less frequently in men. No treatment can guarantee that new lipomas will not grow in other areas of the body. Neither does treatment prevent a recurrence in the original site. Some research has suggested that people who develop lipomas do so because of a genetic predisposition. Lipomas tend not to regress therefore it is possible that your daughter may need to have the new lipoma removed at some point in the future. However, if it is not too large or unsightly it can be safely left alone. Dietary management has no part to play in either the treatment or prevention of lipomas. There is no way of preventing lipomas from occurring.