Infantile hemangiomas are the most common of benign tumors in children, and most often occur in the head or neck area, a CHOC otolaryngologist says.
Because of their location, these masses can cause trouble breathing, swallowing or speaking, and in some cases can be life-threatening if they cause an airway obstruction, Dr. Kevin Huoh says.
Infantile hemangiomas are more likely to occur in babies born under certain circumstances:
- a premature birth
- being born from a multiple pregnancy
- birth as a result of in vitro fertilization
- being Caucasian and female
Parents of children with a head or neck mass should talk to their pediatrician and request a referral to an otolaryngologist, which is also known as an ear, nose and throat doctor.
“If there is any persistent mass or growth on the head or neck that doesn’t go away, we would really advise parents to have their child evaluated by a pediatric head and neck specialist,” Dr. Huoh says. “Neck masses are common in children, and they can pop up at any time.”
CHOC’s hemangioma clinic treats young patients with various vascular anomalies. A team of experts including otolaryngologists, plastic surgeons, cardiologists, hematologists, laser surgeons and interventional radiologists work together to help these patients.
For more on CHOC’s otolaryngology program