Massive localised lymphoedema: a review of published literature on this unique entity

Massive localised lymphoedema: a review of published literature on this unique entityMassive localised lymphoedema (MLL) is a unique presentation of lymphoedema in morbidly obese patients, located most commonly in the medial thigh. MLL presents as a localised painless mass of lymphoedematous tissue. However, it is more generalised condition than the name implies, since it restricts patient’s activities of daily living and significantly impairs quality of life. The authors conducted a systematic review of the literature on MLL. The search yielded 53 articles, with a total of 105 patients documented. MLL has been reported in association with Hashimoto’s disease, hypothyroidism  and diabetes. There is a low quality of evidence and a lack of rigorous studies on MLL. It is possible that prevalence of MLL will increase with the rising incidence of morbid obesity. It is essential to increase clinicians’ awareness of MLL, since this complex condition is more easily managed in its early stages.


  • Eran Shavit

    Clinical Fellow, , Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Canada

  • Afsaneh Alavi

    Assistant Professor of Medicine (Dermatology), University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada