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Symptoms and Removal of Hepatic Hemangioma

Symptoms and Removal of Hepatic Hemangioma

Hepatic hemangioma is an abnormal large growth in the liver causing severe pain. To know about its symptoms, read on...
Nicks J
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2018
Hepatic hemangioma is one of the most commonly occurring tumor that affects the liver. There is overgrowth, found in the liver that can often lead to complications like bleeding, if left untreated. This tumor is non-cancerous and composed of dilated blood vessel. Being a benign tumor, use of chemotherapy drugs is not necessary.
Tumor size
The tumor can be either small or large. Its size varies from a few millimeters to more than 20 centimeters. Majority of hemangiomas developed in the body, are small. The tumor is called giant hemangioma if its size exceeds 5cm. In case the liver tumor is small, treatment is not necessary as it does not cause any problem.

Following tests are performed to identify this liver problem:
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Blood tests
  • Hepatic angiogram
Symptoms
In most cases, the tumor does not cause any signs of illness. However, if the hemangiomas are large, they can cause the following symptoms:
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Enlargement of the liver
Symptoms in babies include anemia and development of abdominal mass. In case a larger tumor ruptures, it will definitely cause lot of pain. Bleeding may also occur into the abdomen. This condition is life-threatening and requires urgent medical treatment.
Causes
Many doctors believe that it is a birth defect. The occurrence of this tumor does not depend on the age. In some cases, infants are diagnosed for hepatic hemangioma and the tumor becomes apparent as a life-threatening lesion. It is also commonly found in people who are between 30 and 50 years of age. The incidence rate of this type of tumor is more in women than men. Women are often affected with large tumors at a younger age. Giant tumors that are more than 5 cm in size are also noticed in women.
Removal of Hepatic Hemangioma
These non cancerous tumors can be removed surgically. It is the most effective way to treat this liver condition. Doctors may perform liver resection to remove this large tumor.
Liver transplant is another option. This type of surgery is recommended for people who have multiple hemangiomas. In this procedure, the liver is replaced with another, that belongs to the donor. If there is rapid growth in the tumor or spontaneous rupture, then surgery (resection or transplant) is an absolute must. Surgical procedures are safe, and the post-operative morbidity rates are also very low.
Another way to handle this non-cancerous growth is to use certain procedures that decrease the size of the large tumor. This can be achieved in any one of the following ways:
Ligation of the liver artery: This is a surgical procedure that involves tying off the blood vessel that carries blood to the liver. As a result, the tumor is deprived of blood which helps in decreasing its size.
Embolization of the liver: This process involves blocking the blood vessels connected to the liver. As the blood supply stops, the size of the tumor in the liver gradually reduces. This is a minimally non-invasive procedure in which selective blood vessels are blocked by introducing a substance (emboli). This procedure can help shrink the tumor and reduce the pain considerably.
Radiation therapy: This form of treatment uses high energy beams to damage the abnormal cells in the liver. X-rays are commonly used to get the desired result.
Depending on the size of the tumor, the doctor decides the method of treatment. Surgery (resection or transplant) is the best and the most effective way to remove giant tumors.