Fat necrosis is a firm, round lump that forms in an area of fatty breast tissue that has been damaged. A term for necrosis in fat, caused either by release of pancreatic enzymes from pancreas or gut (enzymic fat necrosis) or by trauma to fat, either by a physical blow or by surgery (traumatic fat necrosis). The lump is usually painless, and the skin around it may look red, bruised or dimpled. This is a harmless, self-limited condition. Significant morbidity (seizures, blindness, failure to thrive) and even mortality (from infection and cardiac arrest) can result from the associated hypercalcemia.
Fat necrosis can be caused by an injury or blow to the breast. Sometimes the skin around this lump looks red or bruised. This problem is most often seen in obese women who have very large breasts or after an injury to a breast. The fat of neonates is composed of saturated fatty acids (stearic and palmitic acids) with a relatively high melting point. Neonatal stress resulting in hypothermia may induce fat to undergo crystallization, leading to necrosis.
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