Lipoma on the shoulder


A lipoma is an increase in fat tissue that grows like a lump under the skin and is to be regarded as a benign tumor. From fat cells (Adipocytes) starting out, the fat continues to grow in an uncontrolled manner and thus forms a lipoma. In addition to the head and neck area, the most common lipoma is the shoulder.

root cause

The exact mechanisms underlying lipoma are still relatively unclear and poorly understood. The fact that lipoma often occurs on the shoulder is also still a mystery. Many scientists assume one genetic cause because lipoma often accumulates within families. In addition, a lipoma was developed Associations with other diseases discovered, with particular mentioning metabolic diseases and alcoholism. One widely accepted theory is that the lipoma is from still improperly growing pluripotent stem cells that are no longer under the control of the body. A lipoma on the shoulder is not infrequently an expression of a rare disease, the Lipomatosis, in which several lipomas occur side by side.


It usually causes a lipoma on the shoulder few symptoms. One notices the lipoma when palpating the shoulder as a lump under the skin, which can vary greatly in size. Usually these are the size of a pea, in some cases a lipoma on the shoulder can grow to the size of a fist. If so, the lipoma may restrict mobility in the shoulder, causing it Pain or it becomes noticeable that certain items of clothing no longer fit.

The nodes can be moved under the skin and are elastic in character. A lipoma grows usually very slowlyso it may take time to notice a bump on your shoulder.

Usually a lipoma on the shoulder goes hand in hand without pain. However, in some cases, pain may develop, especially with external pressure. However, the pain disappears again and can only be triggered if you touch the lipoma with pressure with your finger. The special thing about the shoulder is that, depending on its size and position, the lipoma can be stretched considerably with certain movements, so that pain can also be perceived here. For example, when the arm is raised sharply or during sports such as tennis, pain can occur.

  • Lipoma symptoms
  • Lipoma pain

How painful is a lipoma on the shoulder?

As a rule, lipomas of the shoulder are not painful. They are palpable as painless, soft nodules under the skin and occur both individually and in groups.

Occasionally, a lipoma on the shoulder can also cause pain, the extent of which, however, is assessed very differently.

In rare cases, many painful lipomas can appear on different parts of the body. This syndrome is also known as lipomatosis dolorosa. The lipomas are also found primarily on the shoulders, arms and legs, but also on other parts of the body.

The cause of the disease, which predominantly affects overweight menopausal women, is not clear.

For further important information on the subject of "pain in a lipoma" read also: Lipoma Pain - When to Remove It


Lipomas are usually detected when they are already of a palpable size and appear unnatural to the patient. To diagnose a lipoma on the shoulder, the clinical examination is the best measure. The doctor feels the tumor on the shoulder and can do so consistency, Limitation and depth estimate. With a few questions about first occurrence, pain or accompanying symptoms, the suspected diagnosis of lipoma is quickly made. To one exclude malignant tumor, becomes a Ultrasonic made and possibly supplemented with tissue samples


In many cases, lipoma on the shoulder does not require treatment. Small, millimeter-sized lipomas in particular do not cause symptoms and are at most cosmetically restrictive. If there is still a desire, a lipoma on the shoulder can work well in a small operation removed. Conservative or medicinal measures are ineffective or non-existent. There is also the option of suctioning off a lipoma on the shoulder, but these usually grow back, so surgery is still the best option.

  • When should a lipoma be removed?
  • Treatment of a lipoma

How is a lipoma removed on the shoulder?

Lipomas of the shoulder can be removed surgically or by suction, which is known as liposuction.

Especially with larger lipomas, liposuction is often preferred to traditional surgical removal as a procedure.

The removal usually takes place under local anesthesia instead and does not require general anesthesia. General anesthesia or short anesthesia may only be necessary if the patient expressly requests or if the lipomas are very large and deeply growing.

There are several ways to remove a lipoma. In this regard, the following articles may also be of importance to you:

  • Treatment of a Lipoma - Ultrasound or Surgery?
  • Homeopathy for a lipoma


A surgery to remove the lipoma best means If a small lipoma is found on the shoulder, the operation is limited to one local anesthesia, around the affected area, then make a small incision over the lipoma and express the contents.
Only at very big or deeper lying lipomas can have surgery with general anesthetic be necessary. The surgeon carefully prepares the lipoma and then removes it completely.
When the patient is over multiple lipomas complains on the shoulder is one major surgery shown that removed each lipoma. Scars often remain after the operation, but they can only be seen on closer inspection.

An operation always includes Risks such as infections, problems with anesthesia, and injuries to surrounding structures. However, these are very rare in the operation of a lipoma on the shoulder.

How painful is removal of a lipoma on the shoulder?

The removal of a lipoma on the shoulder always takes place under local or general anesthesia. The actual removal is therefore not painful.

Only a slight pressure can be felt under local anesthesia, but not pain. After the effect of the local anesthetic has waned, slight pain at the operated site is normal.

With mild pain relievers such as ibuprofen or diclofenac, however, the pain is easily manageable. Light cooling and protection of the affected area also help to minimize the pain.

Severe pain can occur if the wound becomes inflamed as a complication of wound healing. In this case, one should consult the attending physician and report on the symptoms.


A lipoma on the shoulder is a harmless, benign tumor that primarily causes cosmetic distress. The Risk of malignant degeneration is very low. Lipomas grow slowly and can usually be easily removed by surgery. Especially large lipomas should be treated this way as they can also cause pain.

After an operation, the disease is usually cured and the prognosis is good, but a new lipoma can develop. If a lipoma on the shoulder under a Lipomatosis occurs, the prognosis is worse, because usually always develop new lipomas.

How dangerous is a lipoma on the shoulder?

Lipomas are among the most common types of connective tissue tumors. They usually appear in middle age and affect men more often than women.

The classic lipoma is mainly found on the shoulders, arms or thighs, but can also be found in another location.

Fortunately, lipomas on the shoulder are benign tumors that do not pose a health risk. Lipomas are therefore completely harmless and do not require any therapy. From a cosmetic point of view, however, the removal of a lipoma is often desirable on the part of those affected.

We recommend reading the following article at this point: When should a lipoma be removed?


A lipoma on the shoulder can not leaning forward become. Anyone can potentially develop it. It makes sense to keep the diseases associated with lipomas under control. These include e.g. low alcohol consumption and good blood sugar control Diabetes mellitus.