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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Madelung disease

Other Names for this Disease
  • Benign symmetrical lipomatosis
  • Familial symmetric lipomatosis
  • Launois-Bensaude syndrome
  • Madelung's disease
  • Multiple symmetric lipomatosis
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How might Madelung disease be treated?

To date, the most effective treatment for Madelung disease is surgery which may include surgical excision (removal) and/or liposuction.[1][2] Liposuction has gained popularity in more recent years due to its minimal scarring. It is also considered less invasive, technically easier, and better suited for individuals with a higher surgical or anaesthetic risk.[2] Some researchers believe it is unnecessary to subject affected individuals to the risks of surgery because the condition is usually benign, and that surgical excision should be limited to those with airway compression or severe cosmetic deformities. The limitations of liposuction include inadequate aspiration of lipoma. The main disadvantage of surgical excision is the scarring.[2] However, it offers the chance of more extensive "debulking" of affected areas. Reportedly, it is rarely possible to remove the lipomas completely.[3]

Some researchers have reported modest success treating the condition with the medication salbutamol, which increases the breakdown of lipids (lipolysis). Abstaining from alcohol intake, weight loss, and correction of any associated metabolic/endocrine abnormalities are also recommended.[4][1][2]
Last updated: 6/28/2013

  1. Ramos S, Pinheiro S, Diogo C, Cabral L, Cruzeiro C. Madelung Disease. Annals of Plastic Surgery. 2009;
  2. Sia KJ, Tang IP, Tan TY. Multiple symmetrical lipomatosis: case report and literature review. J Laryngol Otol. July 2012; 126(7):756-758.
  3. Ramos S, Pinheiro S, Diogo C, Cabral L, Cruzeiro C. Madelung disease: a not-so-rare disorder. Ann. Plast. Surg. January 2010; 64(1):122-124.
  4. Alameda YA, Torres L, Perez-Mitchell C, Riera A. Madelung disease: A clinical diagnosis. Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. 2009;