Retropharyngeal Lipoma: a case report


Naser Sadeghi 1 , Mehdi Askari 2 , *

1 Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery Specialist, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor Department of Surgery, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran.

How to Cite: Sadeghi N, Askari M. Retropharyngeal Lipoma: a case report, Hormozgan Med J. 2009 ; 13(1):e88633.


Hormozgan Medical Journal: 13 (1); e88633
Published Online: June 18, 2008
Article Type: Case Report
Received: November 05, 2007
Accepted: June 18, 2008


Introduction: Retropharyngeal lipoma is a rare benign tumor (less than 27 reports
in literature) of nonspecific clinical symptoms. It can grow to an enormous extent
causing total obstruction of the upper respiratory tract. Until now its etiology is
Case Report: A 60-year old female complained from severe snoring, mild dysphagia
and moderate respiratory difficulty with gradual onset since one year prior to clinical
presentation. In Oropharyngeal examination and indirect laryngoscopy, there was a
bulging over posterior pharyngeal wall extending from the level of soft palate to lower
part of hypopharynx with moderate closure of laryngeal inlet and soft consistency on
palpation. Fine needle aspiration was in favour of neurofibroma but CT scan and MRI
showed criteria of a large retropharyngeal lipoma (75×50 mm,oval shaped). The mass
was removed completely via transpharyngeal approach with creation of U- shaped flap.
Post operative pathologic study confirmed the diagnosis of lipoma.
Conclusion: Lipoma as differential diagnosis of retropharyngeal tumors always has
to be considered. Surgical intervention through pharyngeal or cervical root is
recommended. To prevent functional complications resulting from tumor and surgery
and to get information about the extent of the lipoma, accurate radiological imaging
is mandatory.



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