A hemangioma is the most common benign tumor in children. It usually appears soon after birth and grows rapidly for the first 12 months of life. It then slowly shrinks (involutes) over several years.
When Should a Hemangioma be Resected?
Most hemangiomas do not need to be resected. Sometimes, hemangiomas are treated with medications in order to slow down their growth in the first year of life.
Reasons to resect a hemangioma include the following:
A growing hemangioma with ulceration that is not healing
An involuting hemangioma that is causing deformity and psychosocial concerns
A fully involuted hemangioma that is causing deformity.
How is a Hemangioma Resected?
The technique for hemangioma resection depends on the location, size and stage of life of the hemangioma.
Sometimes, the shortest scar is obtained by cutting out a hemangioma as a circle and closing the skin with a purse-string suture. This results in a small scar that may have ripples in it. The ripples usually smooth out over several weeks. In some cases, the resulting scar is revised in a subsequent operation.
What Can I Expect After Hemangioma Resection?
Most children can go home the same day. There is usually minimal pain and bruising in the area. If a purse-string technique was used, there are usually ripples in the scar, which smooth out over several weeks.