Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What is a hemangioma?"
I have mass in the liver which represents a small hemangioma
I recommend discussing this question with a gastroenterologist who specializes in liver diseases. Liver hemangiomas are the most common benign hepatic (liver) tumors. Hemangiomas can range in size from a few millimeters to 20 centimeters. Hemangiomas greater than 5 cm are considered giant hemangiomas. Most people who have hemangiomas will never experience symptoms. Patients who do have symptoms from hemangiomas usually have large tumors. Symptoms usually include abdominal pain and right upper quadrant fullness. Other symptoms include nausea, early fullness after eating, and anorexia. Hemangiomas are relatively common and may be present in up to 20% of the population. The majority of people diagnosed with hemangiomas are between the ages of 30 and 50. Hemangiomas tend to occur more frequently in women. In women, hemangiomas tend to increase in size during pregnancy and hormonal therapy. The majority of hemangiomas will remain unchanged over time. Rupture of hemangiomas is rare and usually occurs with larger tumors. Patients who do not have symptoms can be observed, as hemangiomas don't usually increase in size. However, patients with rapidly growing hemangiomas should be followed closely. Patients who have pain or other symptoms that are due to hemangiomas should be considered for surgical resection. Even following surgery, some patients will continue to have symptoms, so it is important that the hemangioma is determined to be the cause of the symptoms. Again, please see a gastroenterologist who specializes in liver diseases (hepatology) for further management of your condition.
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