Hemangiomas of the Head and Neck
Hemangiomas are benign tumors that will typically disappear over time. They are swellings, or growths, of the cells that line blood vessels.
They typically appear in the first few weeks of life and grow rapidly over the first six months. Most hemangiomas reach their full size by 1 year of age. Many hemangiomas resolve by age 5.
The Center for Cerebrovascular Disorders in Children offers children and parents a collaborative group of experts that comprehensively diagnose and treat your child’s cerebrovascular disease, such as hemangiomas. We are among the very best in the region at performing the most advanced procedures and therapies for the treatment of pediatric cerebrovascular disease. Each of our primary team members works solely in the pediatric setting with a clinical interest in disorders of the cerebrovascular system.
This program is the only one of its kind in Texas, and one of a handful across the nation. It offers a unique level of expertise in the management and treatment of patients with hemangiomas specific to children and adolescents. We are the only program in Dallas to offer pediatric neurosurgery and neuro-radiology coverage 24 hours a day by specialized, dedicated pediatric providers.
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- The appearance of a hemangioma depends on its location. It can occur anywhere on the body.
- If it is on the surface of the skin, it often looks like a berry.
- If it is under the skin, it can appear to be an area of blue-colored swelling.
Tests and Diagnosis
Hemangiomas are typically diagnosed by appearance and by biopsy with pathology testing.
- Most hemangiomas go away without treatment, shrinking and fading before age 5. But some hemangiomas do need treatment, depending on the location and severity of the malformation.
- Treatment includes embolization, a minimally invasive treatment that reduces blood flow, with potential surgical removal of the hemangioma if necessary.
- Medication to prevent the hemangioma from growing may also be prescribed.
What caused this to happen to my child?
It is not well understood why hemangiomas occur. There are no known associations between maternal diet, environment or behaviors.
Is there treatment?
Most hemangiomas go away without treatment, shrinking and fading before age 5. But if your doctor determines the hemangioma is affecting the overall health of your child, treatment may include medication, embolization or surgery.