A hemangioma is an extra, abnormal collection of blood vessels in the skin. Usually known by everyone as birthmarks, they are also known as vascular tumors. Most common birthmarks in children, they are present at birth or may appear three to six months after birth. These are benign (non-cancerous) growths. They are usually harmless and do not require any treatment as such. Interference is needed only if these growths disturb the vision or breathing.
Liver hemangioma is a benign growth of blood vessels in the liver. These are extra blood vessels that group together to form a bunch. These growths are non-cancerous. They are also known as cavernous hemangiomas.
What Are The Major Symptoms Of Liver Hemangioma?
If the hemangioma on the liver is very small, it generally does not cause any obvious signs or symptoms in most cases. Very rarely, if the hemangioma grows to be large, it may exhibit several symptoms like pain or discomfort in the abdomen, bloating, a feeling of fullness even after eating very less quantities, an appetite reduction and nausea, and even vomiting at times. But these symptoms are not specific and may be just due to some other underlying condition, even if a liver hemangioma is present.
Very rarely, if a hemangioma is large, it may break or rupture. This may cause bleeding or blood clots, or sometimes lead to organ failure, or very rarely heart failure also.
Liver hemangioma can cause signs and symptoms more in the people who are more than 30 years of age. Also, it is more common in women than in men. Estrogen is likely to be responsible for hemangioma growth. Hence, women who have been pregnant at least once are more likely to present with symptoms, than those who have been non-pregnant.
In those women, who have been diagnosed with liver hemangioma, if they become pregnant again, they are at a risk of developing some symptoms and complications. As estrogen increases during pregnancy, it may cause an already existing liver hemangioma to grow further and cause some unwanted effects.
There is also a controversy as to whether contraceptive pills are also responsible for certain complications in liver hemangioma. It is better to take advice of your doctor before starting on any such pills, if you already suffer from a liver hemangioma.
Liver hemangiomas are usually asymptomatic and do not need any treatment. They are most of the times diagnosed accidentally, when tests are done for some totally different condition. Very rarely they cause any symptoms, and they do not need any treatment as such. Only if they are affecting the normal functioning of our organs, or one wants to get rid of them for the cosmetic purposes, then it may be advised to remove them. It may not be particularly necessary to seek treatment for them.
Signs and Symptoms of a Hemangioma
A hemangioma can start as a small red patch or a scratch and it grows very fast during the child’s first year. Then, it becomes a spongy mass that bulges out from the skin. Then, they stop growing and are typically resting for a few more years. Slowly, they begin to reduce in size and then gradually disappear. Nearly all of the hemangiomas are resolved by the age of 10 years.
Hemangiomas usually do not cause any signs or symptoms during or after their growth. However, sometimes if they grow very large or grow in certain areas like eyes or ears, they may cause vision or hearing difficulties.
Hemangiomas on skin are noticeable, but those on the internal organs cannot be seen and are usually asymptomatic. They are diagnosed generally during the tests performed for some totally different reasons. Very rarely they can cause certain symptoms like pain in abdomen, reduction in appetite, unnatural weight loss, nausea and vomiting, a feeling of fullness after eating very little food.
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