What is the prognosis of lipomas?

Updated: Mar 26, 2020
  • Author: Todd A Nickloes, DO, FACOS; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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The outcome and prognosis are excellent for benign lipomas. Recurrence is uncommon but may develop if the excision was incomplete.

Pang et al compared outcomes in 238 patients who underwent total or near-total (T/NT) resection for dorsal, transitional, or chaotic spinal cord lipomas (with 16-year follow-up), along with complete reconstruction of the neural placode, with results from 116 patients who underwent partial resection for spinal cord lipomas (with 11-year follow-up). [11, 12]

Although in the T/NT and partial resection groups the rate of immediate symptom stabilization or improvement was similar (more than 95%), the combined cerebrospinal fluid leakage and wound complication rate was only 2.5% for T/NT resections, compared with 6.9% for partial resections. Moreover, the overall progression-free survival probability (Kaplan-Meier analysis) was 82.8% for T/NT resection patients at 16 years postoperative, compared with 34.6% for partial resection patients at 10.5 years post operation. Evidence indicated that the superior results in the T/NT resection patients were associated with the fact that lower cord-sac ratios were achieved in these patients than in the partial-resection group. [11, 12]

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