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Massachusetts Eye and Ear
/assets/MEE/images/mgb-default-thumb.png Hemangiomas

Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery


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Hemangiomas are the most common benign tumor of infancy, often appearing as a red birthmark. In some cases, they can occur in the airway, usually right under the vocal cords. When this happens, it can cause breathing difficulties that can be mild or severe. The narrower the airway, the more difficulty the child will experience when breathing.

3Common Symptoms

  • Visible, flat red mark on the face
  • Visible, flat red mark on the scalp
  • Visible, flat red mark on the chest or back

Diagnosis and Treatment

The best way to diagnose a hemangioma is through an endoscopy. Most of the time, hemangiomas do not require treatment. However, in some cases, they can cause concerning symptoms, including obstructing a child's airway. When this happens, medical management can include medications, such as steroids or beta-blocker (propanalol). In severe cases or cases that do not respond to medications, surgery is considered. Depending on the case, tracheostomy or open airway excision may be recommended.

Meet Our Team

We bring together physicians, speech-language pathologists, and other healthcare professionals to provide treatment to patients suffering from breathing troubles.

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