Vascular Birthmarks Treatment Orange County

Birthmarks come in many shapes and sizes. Hemangiomas – sometimes referred to as Infantile Hemangioma – may be present at birth or can appear shortly after birth. The cause of hemangiomas remains unknown – but some studies show they tend to run in families. Although they can occur anywhere on the skin, they are most often found on the skin of the head and neck. They tend to be more common in girls than in boys – and occur mostly in Caucasian children. Treatment varies widely for hemangiomas and varies from watchful waiting to surgical intervention. This is largely determined by the hemangioma location, rate of growth, and degree of functional impairment caused by the hemangioma.

I found my first consultation with Dr. Yeh to be very personable, receptive, kind, courteous, private and welcoming. All of my questions were definitely answered. Dr. Yeh and Janette were extremely informative, honest and thorough with every area involved with the procedure. It was a good experience and I was very well cared for and made to feel comfortable and safe. Judy A. – 5/25/12

WHAT ARE HEMANGIOMAS?
Hemangiomas are “birthmarks” that appear as a bright, red patch or a nodule of extra blood vessels in the skin. They grow during the first year of life into a spongy mass that can protrude from the skin during the “proliferative phase”. Typically, hemangiomas then tend to recede over time during the “involutional phase”. The degree of involution may vary widely and is often difficult to predict. Hemangiomas are usually benign (non-cancerous) – and are not typically associated with other serious medical conditions. They may start out as a flat red mark – anywhere on the body – but most often on the face, scalp or back of the neck. Superficial hemangiomas are located on the outer layers of the skin, while deep hemangiomas are found under the skin in the fatty layer. Half of all hemangiomas resolve on their own by age 5. One of the biggest challenges, however, is that even though hemangiomas tends to recede over time – permanent discoloration of the skin or residual scarring and skin changes may remain.

PROBLEMS – COMPLICATIONS WITH HEMANGIOMAS:

  • Hemangiomas can occur anywhere on the skin or below the skin’s surface
  • Hemangiomas vary in size – growth rates & duration of growth
  • Hemangiomas may take several years to resolve – either partially or completely
  • Hemangiomas – larger lesions may take longer to resolve with a risk of scarring
  • Hemangiomas can interfere with function – most often around the eye – in the diaper area & around the mouth – these should be monitored closely
  • Hemangiomas can cause ulcerations if the skin covering breaks down
  • Hemangiomas – if injured or cut – can bleed & develop a crust or scab
  • Hemangiomas can result in permanent scarring – areas prone to scarring include: the nose, lip, forehead & ears – in areas where the skin does not stretch easily

YOUR CONSULTATION:
Dr. Yeh believes that the initial consultation is most important and should be done face to face with your surgeon. After listening closely and carefully to your concerns, Dr. Yeh is able to do a critical evaluation and make the correct recommendations to address your specific needs. It is during the consultation that you both arrive at a mutual understanding and trust than enables Dr. Yeh to tailor the treatment plan that is best suited to you – not somebody else.

VASCULAR BIRTHMARK – HEMANGIOMA TREATMENT:
In general, infantile hemangiomas shrink over time and tend to resolve. If this does not occur, treatment is determined by age, size and location of the hemangioma, and rate of growth. Hemangiomas that are located in areas that threaten a patient’s health such as the airway or liver – or those that affect normal development – the ear canal or on the eye – or those that are potentially disfiguring – on the face – are treated quicker and more aggressively.

TREATMENT OPTIONS:

  • Observation – involves watching the hemangioma- no other treatment is needed
  • Topical Steroid Ointment – This is applied directly to the hemangioma 1 to 2 times daily and can slow or stop the lesion growth. This is usually effective for small, superficial hemangiomas.
  • Steroid Injections – The lesion itself is injected. This helps to slow growth and works best for smaller lesions.
  • Oral Steroids – Location, growth rate and size may permit treatment with oral steroids to slow the growth of the hemangioma.
  • Laser Treatment – Lasers can safely penetrate the outer portion of the hemangioma to help stop bleeding and/or to help with healing or ulceration.
  • Surgical Excision – When hemangiomas do not resolve on their own – Dr. Yeh may recommend and perform surgery to remove smaller lesions from problem areas. Surgery is also effective to repair residual cosmetic deformities – such as excess skin or scarring.

Dr. Yeh has specialized training and experience in diagnosing & treating hemangiomas/vascular birthmarks and personalizes each treatment – for each patient.