Annals of African Medicine

: 2007  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 84-

Subcutaneous lipomata in Sokoto, Nigeria: A 4-year review

N Mbah, U Abubakar  
 Department of Surgery, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, P. M. B. 2370. Sokoto, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
N Mbah
Department of Surgery, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, P. M. B. 2370. Sokoto

How to cite this article:
Mbah N, Abubakar  U. Subcutaneous lipomata in Sokoto, Nigeria: A 4-year review .Ann Afr Med 2007;6:84-84

How to cite this URL:
Mbah N, Abubakar  U. Subcutaneous lipomata in Sokoto, Nigeria: A 4-year review . Ann Afr Med [serial online] 2007 [cited 2023 Feb 8 ];6:84-84
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Full Text

Lipomas have been variously described as "universal tumors" or "ubiquitous". [1] They could occur virtually in every part of the human body where cells are found. These slow-growing benign tumors of fatty tissue have been described in all age groups. Mostly reported are those lipomas involving internal body organs and cavities, which usually present with variable clinical manifestations. [2],[3] Subcutaneous lipomas, on the other hand, are usually asymptomatic, being superficial. Their hospital presentation is mainly for cosmetic reasons. The diagnosis of this group of lesions is usually clinical. Histopathological studies are however important in order to identify the variants of this growth, as well as exclude other relevant differential diagnosis. Various modalities of therapy exist.[4],[5] The gold standard and commonest form of treatment remains total surgical excision.This brief communication was predicated on the need to draw attention once more to this group of common benign tumors, highlight their epidemiological and clinical peculiarities, as well as share an experience in their surgical management in our local environment.

This is a 4-year retrospective review of 52 patients with clinically diagnosed and histologically confirmed subcutaneous lipoma. Fifty-two patients were studied in whom there were 59 subcutaneous lipomas. Twenty-two patients were males and 30 females, aged between 2 and 65 years. The mean age was 39 years. However, the peak age at diagnosis was the 5th decade of life. In 47 (90.4%) individuals, the subcutaneous lipomas were single. It was multiple in the remainder. The highest number of these benign tumors, 32.2%, occurred in the upper limbs, while only 1 case (1.7%) was seen in the vulva [Table 1]. Most (94.9%) were painless. All had complete excision for treatment. The commoner form of anaesthesia was local xylocaine infiltration (63.5%). The rest were removed under ketamine sedation. Twenty eight (53.8%) patients were treated on day-case basis. The commonest post operative complication was wound infection in 4 patients. No tumor recurrence or mortality was recorded in this series.

Subcutaneous lipomas represent a common group of benign soft-tissue tumors in our environment. The outcome of treatment is very favorable. With the recent interest in, and the added advantages of day-care surgeries, a greater majority of these tumors would be suitable for day-case treatment.


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