Angiolipoma

This article was last reviewed and updated on July 14, 2018.
by Bibianna Purgina, MD FRCPC

Quick facts:

  • Angiolipoma is a non-cancerous tumour made up of fat and small blood vessels.

  • These tumours can start anywhere although the most common location is just under the skin.

  • Angiolipomas usually look like a small lump under the skin and they may be painful.

Learn more​

The human body is made up of many different types of tissue. Fat is a special type of tissue that is found throughout the body. Fat is made up of large cells called adipocytes that look clear when viewed through a microscope.

Angiolipomas are non-cancerous (benign) tumours made up of fat.

 

Under the microscope, angiolipomas have lots of small blood vessels and some of these vessels contain small blood clots.

 

Since we have fat everywhere in our bodies, lipomas can occur just about anywhere. But most lipomas occur just under our skin where they feel like a soft lump. Angiolipomas can cause discomfort before they are removed.

Most lipomas are surrounded by a thin layer of tissue called a capsule, which keeps the tumour separated from the surrounding tissues. The capsule also makes these tumours relatively easy for your surgeon to remove.

 

The diagnosis of a lipoma may be made on a biopsy  or the tumour may be removed completely in a resection.

Tumour size

These tumours are measured in three dimensions but only the largest dimension is typically included in the report. For example, if the tumour measures 5.0 cm by 3.2 cm by 1.1 cm, the report may describe the tumour size as 5.0 cm in greatest dimension.

 

Tumour size will only be described in your report after the entire tumour has been removed.

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