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.
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.
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.
at Richardson’s hospital:
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.
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
dissolve on their own or are 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.
dental and craniofacial hospital : the expert team for all paediatric 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.