If we talk about liver hemangioma, it is a benign lump present in the liver. These lumps consist of blood vessels and are usually painless and harmless. Generally, small liver hemangiomas causes no symptoms and they do not need treatment to cure, but on the other side larger hemangiomas can occur with symptoms that may cause pain or discomfort.
What is Hemangioma of the liver?
It is a non-cancerous lump made of blood vessels. Some of them started occurring externally on the skin while others develop inside the body, including on organs such as the liver. They can be one or in multiple numbers. There are no malignant, meaning that they do not become cancerous. It is also known as hepatic hemangioma or a cavernous hemangioma.
What are the symptoms?
Liver hemangiomas may cause symptoms, as people usually have small sized and solitary liver hemangiomas. In most of the cases, a larger hemangioma can rupture, it can interfere with organ function and start causing bleeding into the abdomen, or widespread blood clotting and it can lead to heart failure too.
However, some people can have multiple hemangiomas in their liver. If the size of the hemangioma is larger than 4 cm in diameter, here are the following symptoms you may suffer:-
1. Nonspecific complaints of the digestive tract, which can mimic other diseases
2. Pain in the right, upper quadrant of the abdomen (where the liver is located as well)
3. A decrease in appetite
5. Feeling a sense of fullness despite eating only a small portion of food
7. Bloating after a meal
8. Other sensations of discomfort in the abdomen
What are the risk factors?
Initially, liver hemangiomas are diagnosed between the people between ages of 30 and 50 years old. Additionally, these liver blood clots are five times more likely to occur in women than in men. There are still no reason because of these lumps develops, but after a lot of researches, it may be a genetic predisposition, or it may be a congenital condition. The growth of these liver tumors may correlate with the levels of estrogen in the body, especially during pregnancy.
Some studies also showed that women who use birth control pills or other forms of hormone replacement therapy to reduce the symptoms of menopause may be more likely to develop the liver mass.
Available treatment options to cure liver hemangioma
As we already mentioned above, if the tumor is small in size and causing no discomfort, treatment is unnecessary. But if you will start experiencing pain or other symptoms, medical treatment may be needed to improve the condition.
In most of the cases, surgery is required to remove the tumor. Sometimes surgery is required to remove the tumor. If the hepatic hemangioma is easy to get at, the doctor may elect to remove the mass in an attempt to reduce damage to the tissues of the liver. In other cases, the doctor may be required to remove a portion of your liver—known as a resection—in addition to the tumor.
In addition, a medical expert may try to block the blood supply to the tumor through a surgical procedure known as a hepatic artery ligation or through an injection called an arterial embolization.
In rare cases, a liver transplant may be required if the size and scope of the hepatic hemangioma can’t be remedied by other procedures mentioned above. Finally, radiation therapy is a treatment option to shrink the size of the mass.
By RAJESH UPADHYAY.
Director – Gastroenterology & Hepatology,
Max Super speciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi.