Retropharyngeal Lipomatous Hamartoma: Case Report and Review of Literature

Document Type : Case Report


1 ENT, Assistant Professor, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, Punjab.

2 ENT, Professor, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana,India

3 Pathology, Associate Professor, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, India.


Lipomas of the of the head and neck region are rare, more so in the retropharyngeal space. Lipomas in this region can produce symptoms that demand surgical excision. This paper describes a case of lipomatous hamartoma of the retropharynx, which to the best of our knowledge has not yet been reported in English literature.
 Case Report:
A 53-year-old gentleman presented to the ENT department with snoring, voice change and stridor. Examination revealed a smooth bulge in the posterior wall of the oropharynx causing near complete obstruction of the airway. A contrast enhanced computed tomogram revealed a non-enhancing hypodense lesion in the retropharyngeal space extending from C1-C4 level, which was suggestive of a lipoma. The tumour was surgically excised trans-orally. A limited review of literature is also presented.
Trans-oral approach is preferred to external approach for surgical removal of benign retropharyngeal tumours that cause obstructive symptoms, as our case. This approach is safe, effective, and associated with lesser post-operative morbidity.