Fat tumor need surgery?

There was a protruding mass of flesh on my collarbone, I went to the examination and was diagnosed with multiple symmetrical fat tumors, asked the doctor, is the disease dangerous, do I need surgery? (Tam, 52 years old)


“Multiple Symmetric Lipomatosis”, also known as Madelung’s disease, is also called “Benign Symmetrical Lipomatosis”. The disease was first described by Benjamin Brodie in 1846 and subsequently reported by Madelung, Launois and Bensaude in 1898.

The disease is common in men, seen in middle age, about 30-50 years old. The cause of the disease is unknown, but it is common in people who regularly drink alcohol, the disease is related to fat metabolism.

The most obvious manifestation of the disease is a fat tumor that is symmetrical on both sides of the neck, shoulders, neck, back, chest, abdomen. Usually painless, sometimes mild pain in the tumor. These tumors do not have a shell like fat tumors, but usually, this is the key point for surgeons to consider when choosing whether to operate or not.

“Asymmetrical polyps” is a rare disease of fat metabolism, very rarely malignant transformation. Complications caused by a fat tumor compressing paralateral structures such as difficulty swallowing, swallowing pain, or hoarseness are very rare. Tumors in the mediastinum or retroperitoneum can cause pressure on the airways or blood vessels.

However, patients need to go to specialized hospitals, for doctors to examine clinically, take tomography images … to distinguish multiple symmetrical fat tumors from some other diseases such as Cushing’s syndrome, fat tumor. -blood, fibroids, neural fibroids, mucosal fatty sarcomas, parotid salivary gland pathology.

With symmetric multiple fat tumors, surgery is still the only option of choice, but the recurrence rate is over 63%. Therefore, when understanding this disease and depending on the severity of the fat tumor, the patient can consider surgery or not according to the doctor’s consultation.

Fat tumors form on the patient’s shoulder.

Doctor Huynh Kien Thanh

(Head of Oncology Department, Xuyen A General Hospital, HCMC)


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