Liposarcoma is a relatively rare malignancy arising from lipoblasts. By virtue of their size, location, and extent these tumors frequently present many diagnostic possibilities and difficult surgical problems. Retroperitoneal liposarcomas tend to have a variable rate of growth, attain tremendous size, and recur locally after excision. They are frequently not attacked with the aggressiveness that their true nature warrants. The commonest sites for these retroperitoneal tumors are the perirenal fat, mesentery, and omentum.
Symptoms are usually vague, consisting of swelling of the abdomen and the presence of a mass. Bizarre gastrointestinal symptoms are common because of compression of neighboring organs. These tumors may produce pain, fever, tenderness, nausea, and vomiting associated with degeneration of the rapidly growing malignant variety. The diagnosis is frequently aided by intravenous or retrograde urinary-tract studies, with special emphasis on lateral views to demonstrate extrinsic pressure. Barium enema may show the colon pushed anteriorly or laterally.