In this blog, we’ll be providing an overview of a rare type of lipoma we treat at Baylor Scott & White Greater Dallas Orthopaedics called angiolipoma. Angiolipomas make up between 5 and 17 percent of all diagnosed lipomas and although lipomas are rarely harmful, angiolipomas may be painful or uncomfortable.
Angiolipomas differ from other lipomas in that they contain blood vessels and fat. They are typically very small and despite some discomfort, are benign. They can present as one or many small lipomas and can appear anywhere on the body, but most often occur on the forearms, upper arms, and legs.
There are two classifications of Angiolipomas: Infiltrating or Noninfiltrating.
Noninfiltrating angiolipomas are far more common and don’t penetrate below the skin. Infiltrating angiolipomas penetrate the soft tissue below the skin. They are typically less painful, but can be more difficult to remove as they are surrounded by tissue.
While an exact cause is not known, angiolipoma may be genetic. It is also more likely to occur in those with diabetes. Angiolipomas can also develop after blunt force trauma, or following the use of medications such as Indinavir sulfate (used to treat HIV) or corticosteroids (such as prednisone).
Angiolipomas most often affect young adults between 20 and 30 years old, and are more common in men. However, anyone at any age can suffer from an angiolipoma. Certain medical conditions may also cause Angiolipoma, such as familial multiple angiolipomatosis.
An angiolipoma may appear as a small rubbery lump underneath the skin, or as multiple lumps within the same area. It may also be sensitive to touch, discolored, or swollen. A biopsy, MRI, or CT scan may aid in diagnosing the lump as angiolipoma, as opposed to lipoma or liposarcoma.
Removal of angiolipoma isn’t always necessary. However, painful or uncomfortable angiolipomas can be removed surgically. Angiolipoma symptoms can also be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs).
We hope this overview of angiolipoma was insightful and enlightening. The team at Baylor Scott & White Greater Dallas Orthopaedics places a high value on informing our audience and improving the medical literacy of all we impact.
As always, the content of a blog post is no substitute for a legitimate medical diagnosis. If you are concerned that you or a loved one may be suffering from lipoma, prioritize an appointment with a qualified medical professional at your earliest availability.