Lipoma of the cheek presenting with recurrent sialadenitis of the right parotid gland: a case report.
BACKGROUND: Lipomas are benign neoplasms arising from adipose tissue. Oral lipomas have been reported in the buccal mucosa, tongue, floor of the mouth and lips; however, the case of a lipoma occurring as an antecedent lesion to recurrent sialadenitis is hitherto unreported in the English literature. CASE PRESENTATION: We report the case of an intraoral lipoma occurring with signs and symptoms of recurrent sialadenitis in a 15-year-old Kenyan girl of Kikuyu descent. The lipoma was antecedent leading to partial obstruction and stasis related to the right Stensen's duct culminating in recurrent sialadenitis of the ipsilateral parotid gland. Due to the slow growth, softness, diffuse nature and lack of pain, lipomas may exist below the diagnostic radar, hence, the need to have a high index of suspicion and utilize diagnostic aids as necessary. In this case magnetic resonance imaging was key in establishing the existence of the lipoma. The lipoma was excised with resolution of the recurrent sialadenitis. CONCLUSIONS: The purpose of this report is to present the diagnostic challenge emanating from the pressure effects of an intraoral soft tissue lipoma masquerading as recurrent sialadenitis with a view to improving on patient care through sensitization.
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