What is the definition of Cavernous Lymphangioma?
Cavernous lymphangiomas are large, irregular spaces in the lymphatic vascular system that involve the skin and subcutaneous tissues. Cavernous lymphangioma is often referred to as cystic lymphangioma They are non-cancerous fluid filled cysts that are found in vessels that make up the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system consists a network of vessels that carry a fluid called lymph throughout the body. It works to keep fluid levels in the body in balance, and along with the immune system, helps to fight infection.
It is estimated that lymphangiomas occur in about 1 in 4,000 births. They can affect nearly any part of the body, They are most common on the head or neck area, but can occur in other parts of the body. Most lymphangiomas are congenital and are observed at birth while 90 percent will be appear by age two.
What are the alternative names for Cavernous Lymphangioma?
Cystic lymphangioma, cystic hygroma, lymphangioma cavernosum
What are the causes for Cavernous Lymphangioma?
Cystic lymphangiomas or cavernous lymphangiomas are congenital and are often seen at birth. Their presence can be observed visually and confirmed through an MRI, CT scan or ultrasound scan. In most cases cysts appear by age two.
They occur when lymphatic vessels become backed up with lymph fluid and cause pooling and swelling in tissues of the body.
What are the symptoms for Cavernous Lymphangioma?
Cavernous lymphangiomas and cystic lymphangiomas are generally classified by the size of the cysts and legions. Areas larger than two centimeters are considered macrocystic and commonly referred to as cavernous lymphangiomas. They appear as bluish-reddish, spongy masses with defined edges.
Lymphangiomas are smaller than two centimeters are considered microcystic. They tend to grow in clusters and appear as tiny blisters without defined edges.
What are the current treatments for Cavernous Lymphangioma?
Surgery is an option to removes cysts that are not near organs or nerves. Surgical excision is common for superficial lesions close to the skin's surface, while sclerotherapy is used to treat deeper lesions. Sclerotherapy is a procedure that involves injecting a chemical directly into the cyst to shrink it. Laser therapy ablation is another treatment option, and uses a laser to destroy the cyst. Complete removal of cysts is recommended to prevent recurrence.
What is the outlook (prognosis) for Cavernous Lymphangioma?
Lymphangiomas generally do not cause health problems and most the treatments are very effective. Many cysts can be shrunken or completely removed. Most patients recover without any complications. Repeat treatments may needed, however, since lymphangiomas can recur.