Hemangiomas are collections of blood vessels that appear as bright red growths and typically begin developing at birth.
A hemangioma is a benign (non-cancerous) growth that looks raised and red in appearance. Commonly called strawberry birthmarks, hemangiomas can grow quickly in newborns and then start to subside within weeks or months of a child’s life. Many children are born with hemangiomas, but they’re highly common in twins and premature babies.
Hemangiomas resolve on their own in many instances after several months, but some don’t. Older children, teenagers, and adults with hemangiomas that have not subsided on their own are often candidates for laser treatment.
At Laser Skin & Surgery Center of Pennsylvania in the greater Philadelphia area on the Main Line in Devon, board-certified and fellowship-trained physician, Jordan V. Wang, MD, MBE, MBA, has specialized training in treating hemangiomas and vascular birthmarks. Along with his team of board-certified dermatologists, Dr. Wang utilizes the latest laser technology to remove hemangiomas and other vascular lesions.
What Experience Do the Dermatologists at Laser & Skin Surgery Center of Pennsylvania Have in Treating Hemangiomas?
We have a variety of treatment options for hemangiomas. The type of treatment your dermatologist recommends depends on the size, location, and severity of the vascular lesion.
The Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York, where Dr. Wang had trained, has participated in several vascular lesion studies and has found that the combination of pulsed dye laser treatment and the medication propranolol can accelerate the elimination of deep, thick hemangiomas. Our center has the new Vbeam® Prima pulsed dye laser on site to treat a wide variety of vascular lesions, including hemangiomas.
At Laser & Skin Surgery Center of Pennsylvania, we can treat any type of hemangioma. However, most of our patients are infants, children, and adults whose superficial hemangiomas haven’t disappeared on their own. Most hemangiomas require multiple laser therapy treatments to eliminate them.
Questions and Answers
Q: What are Hemangiomas?
A: Hemangiomas are birthmarks that form from collections of blood vessels. These lesions start developing at birth and grow rapidly during the weeks and months after a child is born. While many hemangiomas disappear on their own, some don’t. Twins and premature babies commonly develop hemangiomas after birth.
Q: Should Hemangiomas Be Treated?
A: Early intervention can help minimize the growth rate of hemangiomas. While these birthmarks typically don’t cause problems, some can bleed or interfere with normal function.
Q: What Are The Treatment Options?
A: Some of the most common treatment options for hemangiomas include watchful waiting, laser therapy, timolol, oral propranolol, steroid therapy, and even surgical excision.
Q: What Does A Typical Treatment Plan Look Like?
A: At Laser & Skin Surgery Center of Pennsylvania, our board-certified dermatologists can use either topical or local anesthesia to perform hemangioma treatment. We recommend starting treatment in early infancy for the optimal outcome. Multiple treatments, at 2-3-week intervals, are often required to minimize the appearance of hemangiomas, though the location and severity of the birthmark may influence the treatment time.
Q: When Is Laser Treatment Performed?
A: Laser treatments for hemangiomas are typically recommended during infancy to prevent continued growth. However, they can also be used later in life to treat marks that haven’t resolved on their own.
Q: Which Lasers are Used for this Purpose?
A: We generally use the Vbeam Prima to treat hemangiomas in infants and adults.
Q: How Often Are Laser Treatment Performed?
A: Our board-certified dermatologists recommend laser treatments at 2-3-week intervals to eliminate hemangiomas that are still growing. However, we can perform treatments at one-month intervals for hemangiomas that have stopped growing.
Q: Is Anesthesia Required?
A: In some cases, we may administer a topical anesthetic to minimize discomfort, though small hemangiomas typically respond well to our laser devices with cooling functions.
Q: Is The Procedure Painful?
A: Since hemangioma treatment sessions are quick and short, discomfort is minimal in most cases.
Q: Do You Accept Insurance For This Procedure?
A: We accept most types of insurance and our insurance staff works with patients to make sure they receive the coverage they need.
Q: What Does The Skin Look Like After Each Treatment?
A: Mild bruisuing at the treatment site is expected during hemangioma treatment, though these side effects should subside within 7-10 days. Sometimes, patients also experience minor crusting.
Q: Who should Perform Laser Treatment of Hemangiomas?
Our dermatology center in the greater Philadelphia area on the Main Line in Devon, which spans more than 8,000 square feet, is a comprehensive cosmetic and medical dermatology facility. Our board-certified dermatologists are leaders in the industry who have trained under distinguished physicians to provide our patients with cutting-edge care.
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