Background: Lipoblastomas are rare benign tumors that arise from embryonic white fat and almost always occur in babies and children. Here, we report a case of a giant popliteal lipoblastoma in a 23-month-old Japanese girl that was successfully treated via complete resection. Case presentation: Our patient was a 23-month-old Japanese girl. At 6 months of age, she presented at a nearby hospital with a mass on the popliteal side of her lower right leg. She had no symptoms and was diagnosed as having a benign adipose tumor via magnetic resonance imaging. The mass gradually increased in size, and she was referred to our hospital at 1 year and 11 months of age. A physical examination and radiology revealed a localized mass 13 × 10 × 7 cm in size in the aforementioned area that restricted knee movement and caused proximal tibia deformity. Magnetic resonance imaging showed a giant circumscribed subcutaneous mass with multiple partitions that was hyperintense on T1-weighted and T2-weighted images but not fat-saturated on T2-weighted images. Based on these findings, she was diagnosed as having a lipoblastoma. Because the mass surrounded her popliteal artery and vein and part of the popliteal nerve, surgical resection was considered risky, and we opted to simply observe her. However, owing to rapid growth of the mass and the worsening of symptoms, she underwent complete resection at 2 years and 6 months of age. A histological examination confirmed the diagnosis of a lipoblastoma. She was discharged from our hospital 3 days after surgery with no symptoms. She could walk without pain at the 6-month follow-up, and no local recurrence was observed. Conclusions: We successfully treated a giant popliteal lipoblastoma without complications by performing a total resection. Our report provides evidence that lipoblastomas should be considered for surgical resection when they progress or symptoms appear.
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