This type of benign tumor is a mass of abnormal blood vessels. Up to five percent of adults have small liver hemangiomas that cause no symptoms. Treatment is usually not required. Sometimes, patients with large liver hemangiomas require surgery to prevent clotting and heart failure or for severe symptoms. Hemangiomas never become cancerous.[/size]
I was recently diagnosed with an hemangioma (about 9 cm) on my liver. I had been using contraceptive pills for 10 years. Could this be the cause? Also, do you think surgery is necessary? One doctor told me that if don't get it removed, it could "explode."
Hemangiomas are the most common benign tumors of the liver. These tumors, which are composed of abnormal blood vessels, are probably present at birth and are only detected later when they either cause symptoms or are spotted during an ultrasound or CT scan done for another reason. They are seen more often in females, and are often associated with focal nodular hyperplasia.
To answer your question, it is thought that the hormone estrogen stimulates these vascular tumors to grow, so taking a contraceptive pill may induce such growth. If a hemangioma grows to a large size, it may cause pain, nausea and vomiting. As your doctor mentioned, these tumors can also occasionally rupture, with significant bleeding occurring as a result.
Currently, experts recommend surgical removal of liver hemangiomas that are causing symptoms. Because it is impossible to remove just the hemangioma itself, the operation also involves removing the lobe of the liver that contains the tumor. If the patient is experiencing no discomfort, there is some controversy as to the proper therapy. Some doctors prefer to remove all large tumors in hopes of preventing future problems, such as rupture. However, others feel that the risk of rupture is relatively small and prefer to wait until symptoms occur before operating.
Your best course of action is to seek a referral to a gastroenterologist who has experience in dealing with hemangiomas. Also, you should discuss your case with a surgeon who performs such operations. You can then make an informed decision as to the proper timing for surgery to remove this growth. source