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A ‘giant’ intraluminal lipoma presenting with intussusception in an adult: a case report

Peter A Ongom1*, Henry Wabinga2 and Robert L Lukande2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Surgery, Colorectal Surgery Unit, School of Medicine, Makerere College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, PO Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda

2 Department of Pathology, Histopathology Unit, School of Biomedical Sciences, Makerere College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, PO Box 7072, Kampala, Uganda

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Journal of Medical Case Reports 2012, 6:370  doi:10.1186/1752-1947-6-370

Published: 29 October 2012



Intussusception is an uncommon cause of intestinal obstruction in adults. It usually presents with typical features of intestinal obstruction, and is associated with the presence of a ‘lead point’ for the invaginated portion. This ‘lead point’ is rarely an intraluminal, submucosal lipoma.

Case presentation

We describe the case of a 64-year-old African-Ugandan woman of Bantu ethnicity who presented with features of intestinal obstruction secondary to intussusception. She was treated operatively. A left colocolonic invagination was found with the interssusceptum having a giant polyp. A left hemicolectomy was performed. A histopathological examination revealed a polypoid, submucosal lipoma.


In resource-rich countries, most cases of colonic intraluminal polyps are detected through colonoscopy during routine medical check-ups. With limited resources in our region, many tumors present as intestinal obstructions secondary to intussusception. Even then, most are associated with adenomas and malignancies. Rarely are polypoid, submucosal lipomas found. In our patient’s case a polyp of 9.5cm at its widest dimension is of particular interest. A lesson to learn is that the differential diagnosis for intussusceptions in resource-poor countries should be broadened to include submucosal lipomas.

Colocolonic; giant polyp; hemicolectomy; intestinal obstruction; intraluminal; intussusception; lipoma; submucosal