Dercum’s disease is an uncommon disorder that causes benign fatty tumors called lipomas to develop mostly on the legs and abdomen. At Atlantic Surgical Associates, we offer liposuction and surgical removal of lipomas to treat Dercum’s disease in West Long Branch, New Jersey. We welcome patients from neighboring communities in Ocean, Essex, and Monmouth counties.
What is Dercum’s Disease?
Dercum’s Disease is a rare condition characterized by painful lipomas, or benign fatty tumors, primarily located on the abdomen and legs. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, it occurs in more women than men. The cause of Dercum’s Disease is unknown, but research indicates that it may be an autoimmune disorder or a problem associated with metabolizing fat in the endocrine system.
The Four Primary Symptoms of Dercum’s Disease
- Multiple painful fatty masses
- Weakness and fatigue
- Mental disturbances, emotional instability, depression, confusion, and dementia.
In addition, lipomas can further cause nerve compression resulting in weakness and pain.
Diagnosis of Dercum’s Disease
The diagnosis is based on clinical criteria, physical examination, and by excluding differential diagnosis. MRI, CT scans, and biopsies can be helpful in identifying Dercum’s Disease. There is no current cure for the disease.
Treatment of Dercum’s Disease
- Medication to relieve pain
- Traditionally, surgical removal of the fatty tumor(s) is performed, however the patient is left with scarring and in cases of multiple fatty tumors, multiple scars are accrued.
- A less invasive option has been liposuction, however it is difficult to remove the entire tumor resulting in future recurrence.
- Dr. Volshteyn has developed an innovative method of removing the fatty tumor utilizing ultrasonic destruction with minimal incisions. This process turns the tumor into a liquid consistency and then gently suctioned out through the same small incision.
Have you been diagnosed or suspect you have Dercum’s disease? Contact us to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Volshteyn at our West Long Branch, New Jersey office. Atlantic Surgical Associates welcomes patients from surrounding areas of New Brunswick, East Brunswick, and Staten Island, NY.