Hemangiomas: how do we treat these bloody tumors?
Hemangiomas are benign (non-cancerous) tumors composed of cells that are a part of the blood vessels. These may be visible at birth or may not be recognized until the first few weeks or even months of life. They usually grow in size anywhere until 2-10yrs, then gradually shrink and finally disappear.
How do they look:
Hemangiomas are usually painless, red to blue colored lesions on the face, lips, or inside the mouth. They are often soft to the touch. These cherry type lesions may lead to issues such as disfigurement, bleeding, ulceration or interference in the daily functioning. This is the issue which distresses parents most of the time.
Types Of Hemangiomas
Hemangiomas can be of different types: cavernous or capillary, infantile or congenital, superficial or deep. All these depend on the time of appearance, type of blood network, the location etc.
Treatment at Richardson’s hospital:
Pediatric facial surgical care is one of our forte. Considering the number of clefts, deformities, craniofacial procedures done at this center regularly, it would be the right choice to get your child treated here.
A thorough history of the lesion, evaluation for the extent, imaging tests such as MRI Angiography are done initially. This helps to understand the nature and type of the tumour and the blood vessels feeding it. The child’s general health parameters are noted. Other kinds of vascular tumors are ruled out.
Treatment depends on the size, location, and severity. Small, non- threatening hemangiomas reduce in size gradually as the child grows. However, if there are bleeding problems, feeding or breathing difficulties, growth disturbances or other functional activities, it warrants a medical or surgical intervention.
Medical intervention includes use of agents which either shrink the lesion or reduce the blood supply to the tumor, eventually reducing its size, for eg. Beta blockers, corticosteroids. These are injected into the tumour for it to regress.
However, in most of the cases where the lesion large enough to cause disfiguration, functional impairment etc, surgical excision is done. Either laser treatment or scalpel excision is done.
A process of embolization, where the feeding vessel is clamped or occluded to reduce the blood flow to the tumour is done prior to the surgery. The child is operated under general anesthesia. The tumor is outlined and carefully removed completely, based on the evaluation. The tissue is immediately sent to the lab for evaluation. Sutures are then placed at the operated site which either dissolves on their own or is removed in a few days.
Infants and children with hemangiomas on the face are in need of a medical consult as it may cause problems during their growth. It is often distressing to the parents of the child considering its appearance and the need for surgery.
Richardson dental and craniofacial hospital: the expert team for all pediatric anomalies
Richardsons’ dental and craniofacial hospital is well equipped with its own expert team of surgeons, anesthetists well versed with handling pediatric pathologies. Since hemangiomas are vascular tumors, the risk of blood loss is a possibility, but, in the experienced hands of our surgeons, you don’t have to worry.
Give back your child its smile and innocence.