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Adiposis dolorosa or Dercum's disease is a rare lipomatous disorder characterized by painful lipomas. In this article, we report a case of rather large exophytic adiposis dolorosa causing difficulties with ambulation, and our surgical management of the disorder. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of a large exophytic adiposis dolorosa of the upper medial thigh causing problems with mobility. This is also the first reported case of the use of a delayed split-thickness skin graft (STSG) after interval use of wound vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) following dermolipectomy. A 77-year-old female presented with a chronic mass on the medial aspect of her right thigh for over 40-50 years. She had noticed a recent rapid increase in size, causing some discomfort and interference with mobility and activities of daily living. The patient underwent an MRI with finding consistent with adiposis dolorosa. She underwent dermolipectomy and reconstruction of the resulting defect with a combination of partial primary closure, wound VAC, and delayed closure using STSG. Dermolipectomy with interval application of a wound VAC combined with delayed reconstruction with STSG is a feasible option for patients with large lesions of the extremity that causes difficulty with mobility and activities of daily living.


This article was published in Cureus, Volume 12, Issue 3.

The published version is available at

Copyright © 2020, Opoku-Agyeman et al. CC BY 4.0

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