Strawberry hemangioma is a mass of blood vessels seen in the infants. In the initial, at the time of birth, the mass is not seen, but starts developing after 1 to 2 weeks of birth. The exact cause of the development of strawberry hemangioma is not known, but it is predicted that it may either placental in origin or it may be due to hypoxia in the fetus. As it is non-cancerous, thus there is nothing to worry about. But certain complications arise when there is bleeding or due to the damage of mass as the risk of infection increases. Further, there are certain complications which may be due to the site of formation of hemangioma.
Can a Strawberry Hemangioma be Removed?
Yes, a strawberry hemangioma can be removed. Traditionally, the protocol used in case of strawberry hemangioma is observation as most of the hemangioma disappears on their own. However, at times, the growth is too fast that within no time it leads to the disfigurement of the organ or may put the outcome of the treatment in question. In cases where the drugs cannot manage the symptoms and growth of strawberry hemangioma and the presence of hemangioma pose serious risk to the life or to any organ, laser therapy seems to be an option.
It has been found that the surgery or the removal of strawberry hemangioma, if required, should be done as early as possible and may be in the proliferation phase. At the involution stage, the strawberry hemangioma is composed of more dense tissues and blood vessels. Thus, more resection of normal tissue is required for surgical removal of the strawberry hemangioma in involution stage. The best option seems to remove the hemangioma at the proliferative stage when the strawberry hemangioma is just growing and is at the initial stage.
If surgical removal of strawberry hemangioma is done at the initial stage, there will be less chances of scar formation as well as the patient will escape with a minor blood loss.
Treatment of Strawberry Hemangioma
As the strawberry hemangioma is non-cancerous, thus does not require treatment. Further, the development of strawberry hemangioma is such that initially there will be a proliferation phase and then there will be an involution phase. In the proliferation phase the strawberry hemangioma grows while in involution stage there is a resolution in hemangioma and it will disappear on its own. However, at times a treatment is required because the growth of hemangioma may possess a threat to life or at least threat to any organ. In case of abdominal hemangioma, there might be life-threatening bleeding as well as infection while in ocular hemangioma; the result may be permanent loss of vision. In such cases treatment is required and that too, immediately.
The treatment may be either drug or laser surgery. The strawberry hemangioma can be disappeared with drugs and if the drug is not an option, it should be removed through laser therapy. The drugs used in the treatment of hemangioma include beta blocker and corticosteroids. USFDA has approved propranolol solution, a beta blocker, for the treatment of infantile hemangioma. However, in certain cases, where the use of beta blocker is not advisable, corticosteroids are used. Analysis should always be done on the benefits and risks of each treatment prior to initiation as the drugs may severely impact the health of an infant.
Strawberry hemangioma does not require treatment. They disappear on their own. The best way to manage a strawberry hemangioma is to observe. However, certain hemangiomas do require immediate attention and immediate treatment as they pose life threatening consequence on the life of the patient. When it comes to treatment, the treatments available are drugs and surgery. The treatment of drugs may comprise beta blockers such as propranolol and corticosteroids. Apart from the oral treatment, strawberry hemangioma can be removed by surgery. The surgery should be done in the proliferative phase when the mass is growing and not in the involution stage to reduce the chances of scar formation and to reduce blood loss.
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