A hemangioma is a benign tumor that is caused by abnormal growth of blood vessels. While hemangiomas can occur anywhere on the body, they are most commonly found on the face and neck. Many infants are bone with a hemangioma present or with a hemangioma that develops within the first few days following birth. Other babies who are affected will develop a hemangioma within the first year of life. Hemangiomas that occur on the eyelids are considered to be a very serious condition due to the risk for causing blindness and the suppression of development of the eye. While hemangiomas gradually decrease in size after the tumors reach their full development, waiting until the hemangioma begins to recede is never advised due to the damage that can occur while it progresses.
The exact cause of any type of hemangioma, including hemangiomas of the eyelid, is unknown. The tumor is formed by an abnormally dense group of blood vessels, and babies of both genders and of all races can be affected. However, female babies are three times more likely to develop hemangiomas than male babies, and babies who are born prematurely also have an elevated risk for hemangiomas. Hemangiomas of the eyelid typically appear within the first six months of an infant’s life. The symptoms of this type of hemangioma are portrayed as a reddish-purple spot that grows in size and color. The lesion often grows quickly and becomes raised, sometimes with visible blood vessels. The development of such a lesion is typically alarming to parents, allowing them to have their child evaluated quickly. It is very important that parents do take their children to a pediatric ophthalmologist as soon as possible after noticing any type of lesion around the eye in order for an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment to be given.
Hemangiomas that develop at or around the eye can cause serious eye problems. They can lead to poor vision development, lazy eye, glaucoma, and even vision loss. At The Vascular Birthmark Institute of New York, we take great care to give patients the most accurate diagnosis in order to treat each patient’s individual needs. There is no “one size fits all” approach to treating any type of hemangioma. Treatment of the hemangioma depends upon the exact location on the eye, size, severity, and whether or not it has begun to cause vision problems.
If your child has a lesion at or around the eye, The Vascular Birthmark Institute of New York offers exceptional, world-renown care and treatment.