Hemangiomas are benign tumors of the liver , formed by blood vessels that come together in a disorganized manner.
Hepatic hemangiomas are more common in young women and according to statistics, they affect 0.4 to 7% of the entire population. About 70% of the time, they can be multiple. The size can vary from a few millimeters to several centimeters, and can occupy the entire liver and a large portion of the abdomen. Giant hemangiomas are those over 5 cm in size.
Hemangiomas never develop into cancer and generally do not bleed or break spontaneously.
When do they arise?
Hemangiomas appear during the formation of the embryo still in the mother’s belly, therefore, before birth.
What are the symptoms?
Hemangiomas rarely show symptoms . There may be abdominal pain, feeling of a full stomach, nausea and vomiting usually due to giant hemangiomas located in specific positions of the liver that tighten other organs causing these symptoms.
In general, doctors and patients associate hemangiomas with poor digestion, which can hardly be proven.
Which tests accurately detect hemangiomas?
Imaging exams safely provide diagnostic evidence.
Ultrasonography is the initial examination, and when performed with a modern device and an experienced doctor is sufficient to prove the diagnosis. In doubtful cases, computed tomography or, preferably, magnetic resonance imaging are the exams of choice.
How to treat?
Only a minority of cases of extremely symptomatic patients require treatment.
For the treatment of symptomatic hepatic hemangiomas, the main therapeutic option is surgical resection . Transplantation, arterial ligation, embolization, radiotherapy and corticotherapy are described, but they are rarely used.
The surgeries must be performed by an experienced team and in these cases, they present low complication and mortality rates. In cases where surgery is indicated, this procedure cures the disease.