Congenital hemangiomas, also known as infantile hemangiomas, are benign tumors that occur in infants at birth or within the first few weeks of life. These tumors are usually classified into two types based on their growth patterns and characteristics: rapidly involuting congenital hemangiomas (RICH) and non-involuting congenital hemangiomas (NICH).
The Vascular Birthmark Center, with locations in New York and Los Angeles, offers treatment for congenital hemangiomas when warranted. Our specialists see many of these vascular tumors in patients who come to us due to the impact on blood flow or other risks. Let’s review the two types of hemangiomas and common treatments for each one.
Rapidly Involuting Congenital Hemangiomas (RICH)
Rapidly involuting congenital hemangiomas (RICH), as the name suggests, go through a rapid involution phase. This means that they start to shrink or disappear within the first year of life. In fact, some RICH tumors may disappear completely, leaving behind only a faint mark on the skin. RICH tumors are usually small, well-circumscribed and have a bright red or purple appearance. They may also have a pale center, which is a characteristic feature of these tumors.
Treatments for RICH are largely dictated by the size and location of the lesion. Complications that put the child’s health at risk can necessitate removal. Even when a RICH disappears without intervention, it can result in large sections of loose skin that may require surgical intervention to tighten.
Non-Involuting Congenital Hemangiomas (NICH)
Non-involuting congenital hemangiomas (NICH) do not go through an involution phase. They continue to grow at a steady rate, and may even increase in size over time. NICH tumors are usually larger than RICH tumors and have a more irregular shape. They may also have a bluish tint and may be accompanied by ulceration or bleeding. a NICH will never regress and growth is proportionate with that of the child.
Surgery is the best treatment option for the management or removal of Non-involuting congenital hemangiomas. Dr. Greg Levitin and his team at The Vascular Birthmark Center specialize in diagnosing and removing problematic non-involuting congenital hemangiomas. They are also particularly skilled with cosmetic surgery that is often necessary to reduce scarring.
Diagnosing Congenital Hemangiomas
The diagnosis of congenital hemangiomas is usually based on a physical examination and may be confirmed by imaging studies such as ultrasound, MRI, or CT scan. Treatment options depend on the type, size, and location of the tumor, as well as the age and overall health of the infant. Small RICH tumors may not require any treatment, while larger or symptomatic tumors may need to be surgically removed, or treated with medications such as corticosteroids, beta-blockers or vincristine.
Specialist Treatment for Congenial Hemangiomas
Congenital hemangiomas are benign tumors that occur in infants at birth or within the first few weeks of life. They are usually classified into two types: rapidly involuting congenital hemangiomas (RICH) and non-involuting congenital hemangiomas (NICH). RICH tumors go through a rapid involution phase and may disappear completely, while NICH tumors continue to grow at a steady rate. The diagnosis and treatment of congenital hemangiomas depend on several factors, and should be carefully tailored to the individual infant’s needs.
Contact The Vascular Birthmark Center in New York or Los Angeles to learn more or to schedule an exam and consultation.
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