Congenital Hemangioma

A congenital hemangioma is a tumor made up of blood vessels. It is present when a child is born and usually does not continue to grow after birth. Congenital hemangiomas are less common than infantile hemangiomas and occur equally in males and females. 

They can be divided into three groups:

  • Rapidly Involuting Congenital Hemangiomas (RICH) quickly become smaller and go away after birth.
  • Non-involuting Congenital Hemangiomas (NICH) do not become smaller and will grow in proportion to the child’s growth.
  • Partially Involuting Congenital Hemangiomas (PICH) partially go away and may occur anywhere on a child’s body, including internally.

What Are Congenital Hemangiomas Treated?

The treatment for congenital hemangiomas depends are how big they are, the type and where it is located. Most often, congenital hemangiomas do not require surgery. If the hemangioma is shrinking or not causing any issues with function, your doctor may choose to monitor it. Certain times surgery is needed. A RICH will go away but can leave loose skin in its place. This loose skin can be partially removed with surgery. A NICH may need to be removed if it is causing a problem with a body function, movement or if it is changing a child’s appearance. Surgery may also be needed if the hemangioma is causing complications, such as skin breakdown or bleeding. Embolization procedures, performed by an interventional radiologist, may be used to limit the blood flow to the hemangioma. Embolization blocks the flow of blood to the hemangioma by using a catheter to inject a hardening substance into the blood vessels.

Lurie Children’s Vascular Lesion Center can evaluate and treat your child’s congenital hemangioma. Depending on the location and severity of the malformation, your child may need to be seen by many specialists including dermatologists, interventional radiologists, otolaryngologists, plastic and general surgeons, oncologists, and physiatrists. Our psychologist and social worker will be able to help you and your child adjust to the changes and special needs that this condition requires.

Make an Appointment

If you’d like to request an appointment with one of our specialists, call 312.227.8521

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