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What Is an Angiolipoma?

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  • Written By: Andy Josiah
  • Edited By: Nancy Fann-Im
  • Last Modified Date: 26 March 2014
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Angiolipoma is a type of benign tumor or skin lesion that contains blood vessels, which are usually capillaries, and tissue. It is an angioma, which is a type of growth formed out of newly created blood vessels. Angiolipoma is also known as lipoma cavernosum or telangiectatic lipoma.

The category that angiolipoma belongs to, lipoma, is a benign tumor made of a combination of fat deposits referred to as adipose tissue. It is considered the most common form of soft tissue growth. Unlike most lipomas, however, angiolipoma is painful.

Angiolipoma is a subcutaneous nodule, which means that the tumor is located under the skin. Thus, angiolipoma is like superficial subcutaneous lipoma, which is the most common form of lipoma, and angiolipoleiomyoma, which is characterized by smooth muscle cells as one of its major components. Additionally, it has a yellow color, just like chondroid lipoma, which most commonly occurs on the legs of women. Other common types of lipoma include corpus callosum lipoma, which tend to grow larger than their normal size, and hibernoma, which consists of brown adipose tissue.

Several medical researchers split angiolipoma into two types. The non-infiltrating kind, which occurs far more often than the other, is usually found in young people in their adulthood. This subcategory comprises soft and painful tumors. The infiltrating angiolipomas are so named because of their ability to spread to surrounding tissues or other structures of the body such as bones, nerves and muscles. The infiltrating kind is much rarer, though.

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Lipomas in general mostly affect people roughly between the ages of 20 and 60. With angiolipoma, it tends to appear as multiple tumors. In some cases, this can happen as early as puberty. The size of the tumors is usually less than 0.8 inches (2 centimeters).

The cause of angiolipoma is still unknown. Some people, however, have suggested that it could be a hereditary condition. Also, studies have suggested that certain injuries may be able to induce the development of lipomas. As for the chances of angiolipoma in general becoming malignant or developing into cancer, some medical researchers believe in the possibility while others do not.

Lipomas in general are deemed unnecessary for removal since they are benign tumors and are thus not dangerous. Angiolipomas, however, cause pain, so they typically necessitate treatment. The physician surgically removes the angiolipomas if the patient has the non-infiltrating kind. Treatment for infiltrating angiolipomas usually involves resection. This means that the physician removes part of the tumor to reduce the pain that the patient experiences.

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Discuss this Article

anon326225
Post 5

I've had several removed. They will generally return near the same spot, but always a different spot. Try to get them removed asap.

anon324169
Post 4

An angiolipoma can return if it is not removed completely. Even if the extraction is complete

and there is no tumor left there is still a chance of the tumor returning.

ZipLine
Post 3

@simrin-- An sngiolipoma in the extremities is usually removed if the patient requests for it but when it's in an organ like the kidney, removing it might do more harm than good. I think that's why doctors avoid surgical removal unless the lipoma is malignant.

As for the symptoms, they don't signify anything in terms of the type of lipoma. A malignant tumor might not cause any symptoms and one that is harmless might.

I personally had had multiple non-infiltrating angiolipomas removed because I couldn't stand the pain. It was unbearable.

SteamLouis
Post 2

I have renal angiolipoma (angiolipoma in kidney). My doctors don't see a reason to remove it although it is giving me symptoms. It causes pain in the middle of my back and fatigue as well.

I find it odd how something that causes pain can be harmless and be left alone. Of course, I don't want to have surgery if I don't have to but I don't know how I'm going to manage the symptoms for years to come.

SarahGen
Post 1

What are the chances of an angiolipoma returning in the same spot after surgical removal?

I have one on my leg and I can't decide if I should have it removed or not. It is not extremely painful lipoma but aches on some days.

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