Haemangiomas are most common type of vascular growths occurring in children. Very commonly, they are also known as birthmarks or strawberry marks (because of their bright red appearance) and nevus. Haemangiomas are extra blood vessels that group together and form clusters. Haemangiomas are vascular tumors.
Can a Haemangioma Burst?
Haemangiomas generally do not cause any symptoms as such. If haemangiomas keep growing rapidly, and reach a substantial growth, there are increased chances of rupture. If they are present on the internal organs and they keep growing to a huge size, the chances of bursting are even more there compared to when they are on the skin. Hence, if a haemangioma is detected in the body, it is only wise to keep the follow-up in routine, to assess its growth and potential harmful effects on the body.
A haemangioma can develop as a small, reddish, fleshy patch or a scar and it grows very fast during the child’s first year. Then it may become a spongy mass or a fleshy, nodular patch that bulges out from the skin. Then they stop growing and are in a dormant phase for a few more years. Slowly, they begin to reduce in size and then gradually disappear. They become quite in evident by the age of five years and nearly all of the haemangiomas are reduced by the age of 10 years.
Haemangiomas usually do not cause any signs or symptoms that are of potential hazard to the body, 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.
Haemangiomas on skin can be seen, but sometimes they are present on internal organs too. Generally, they do not cause any harmful effects. Very rarely they can cause certain symptoms like pain in abdomen, loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea and vomiting, a feeling of fullness after eating very little food, anorexia, etc.
In very rare events, it may happen that the haemangiomas can rupture, bleed or burst. Though, this is a very rare occurrence, when it happens it can be extremely painful and there may be a necessity to intervene.
The haemangiomas are of many types. Research is still going on and many new types are being added to the classification. One differentiation goes as infantile haemangiomas and congenital haemangiomas. Infantile haemangiomas are not present at the time of birth of the child and usually develop in the later weeks of life.
Congenital haemangiomas, as the name suggests are present at the time of birth.
Another classification is about the site. There are superficial haemangiomas, deep haemangiomas and mixed haemangiomas. Superficial ones occur as bright pinkish-red in color. They appear to be like a layer of flesh on the skin. While the deeper ones are dark purple in color and they usually appear like spongy masses. The mixed ones may have characteristics of both of these. Some haemangiomas recede quickly, some others reduce a little slowly and yet others do not go away at all.
Haemangiomas usually occur on the skin. They are more frequently seen on the skin of face, neck chest or back, but can occur anywhere on the body. Sometimes, haemangiomas are present on the internal organs as well. They can be seen on liver, kidneys, lungs and spleen too.
Treatment for Haemangioma
As said earlier, haemangiomas do not usually cause harmful symptoms. The reddish, fleshy patch can be quite alarming sometimes, agreed. But other than that, there is nothing bothersome about them. A physician will weigh the pros and cons of the treatment very well, before he approaches for some kind of the treatment. As they do not cause any harm, it is unnecessary to carry out any treatment, and unwanted interference may cause more harm than good to the body. Hence, treatment options are to be considered wisely.
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) – Hemangiomas: Explore treatment considerations and potential complications of hemangiomas in children.
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