Madelung Disease in New Jersey

Madelung disease is an uncommon disorder that causes symmetrical lipoma growth. At Atlantic Surgical Associates in West Long Branch, New Jersey, we treat Madelung disease with a revolutionary treatment developed by Dr. Volshteyn to remove multiple lipomas with minimal incisions and downtime. We welcome patients from surrounding communities of New Brunswick, East Brunswick, and Staten Island, NY.

What is Madelung Disease?

Madelung Disease, also known as Multiple Symmetric Lipomatosis, or MSL, is a rare condition characterized by fat deposits or symmetrical growth of lipomas around the shoulders, neck, and upper body. Some may experience rapid growth of fatty deposits over the course of several months, while others may experience a slower progression over time. Madelung generally affects men with a history of alcohol abuse, those of Mediterranean descent, and individuals between the ages of 30-60 years old. However, non-alcoholics and women alike can also develop the disease. The exact cause of Madelung is unknown, but there may be a strong correlation between alcoholism and those who later develop the disease. Roughly 90% of those affected by Madelung have a history of alcohol abuse.

Symptoms of Madelung Disease

Like any other disease, Madelung signs and symptoms vary from person to person. One warning sign is the presence of fat deposits or lipomas on the left side of the body. These masses generally form on the left side of the body before the right, and are found near blood vessels and veins. The growth of these lipomas around the neck and shoulders can lead to excruciating pain and decreased mobility. Madelung Disease may also cause nerve damage and neurological complications such as difficulty swallowing, hoarseness or strained voice, fluctuations in heart rate and blood pressure, shortness of breath, and difficulty sleeping.

Diagnosis of Madelung Disease

Madelung Disease is diagnosed based on a thorough physical examination and medical history review. Imaging studies such as a computed tomography (CT scan) and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) also prove to be helpful. A MRI scan is a preferred method to detect lipomas and possibly a biopsy to confirm diagnosis.

Treatment of Madelung Disease:

  • Historically, the removal of multiple fatty tumors result in multiple incisions, leaving the patient with a multitude of scars.
  • Liposuction has been a less invasive option, however it is difficult to remove the whole tumor which commonly causes it to return.
  • We have an innovative method, developed by Dr. Volshteyn to remove the fatty tumor utilizing ultrasonic destruction with minimal incisions. The tumor becomes a liquid consistency in this process and can be gently suctioned through the same small incisions.

Have you been diagnosed or suspect you have a lipoma disorder? Contact us to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Volshteyn at our West Long Branch, New Jersey office. Atlantic Surgical Associates welcomes patients in Ocean, Essex, and Monmouth counties.