Hemangionas or Tumors of the liver.

Reply Sun 2 Apr, 2006 11:30 am
Hi. I recently saw my Doc because i have been having pain in my abdomen. After a series of tests, ultrasounds and and MRI, my doc found what they call Hemangiomas in my liver, or benign tumors of the liver.
I was told that this may have been caused because of using contraceptive birth control pills. The tumor is about an inch, but they cannot really say exactly what it is. So my Doc wants me to get off the pill, and wait three months, before i go for another MRI. Once i do that second test, then they will decide what to do with me.
Anyone have any information about this issue? I just feel that i shouldn't wait that long, just because my Doc cannot give me a proper diagnosis. So i have decided to do my own research, and maybe just go and see a liver specialist. What do y'all think.
Please help with whatever info anyone may have.
Thanx. : Crying or Very sad
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Reply Sun 2 Apr, 2006 12:13 pm
Hello, fofas. I'm sorry to hear about your discomfort, but I think the reason they want to wait is to see if the hemangioma will shrink itself after coming off the pill.

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]

You don't want to rush into unnecessary liver surgery so waiting a few months and trying to let it shrink, or at least perhaps stop bothering you, is advisable.

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

It might also be a type that starts in the hepatocytes and is most often associated with the use of birth control pills.

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Reply Sun 2 Apr, 2006 12:25 pm
I also wanted to say that I understand the nervousness you feel about waiting to see what will happen. A number of years ago I had a similar episode with a growth on one ovary. I came off the pill, waited three months, had another ultra-sound, waited three more months, and so on for most of a year. The growth was no longer growing, but it wasn't shrinking either and it continued to cause me discomfort.

I eventually elected laproscopic surgery to remove the one ovary just to get it over with. I have no idea if the surgery involved for your liver could be done laproscopically, but I wouldn't advise abdominal surgery unless it was necessary.

There's nothing wrong with getting a second opinion, particularly from a specialist, but if the opinion is to hold off on surgery, then I would take that advice.
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Reply Mon 10 Apr, 2006 09:14 pm
It's been my experience that hemangiomas are usually harmless
bubbles that shoot off of a smaller blood vessel.... and I got some
on my chest (breasts especially) every time I was pregnant, so
there IS DEFINETELY A HORMONAL factor present. To see them
on the outside, on the skin, they just look like little red cherry
bumps, but they're completely harmless.
Unlike an aneurysm which is a much larger & more dangerous
bubble coming off of a much larger blood vessel which could
actually rupture and cause a serious problem, these tiny little
things are probably nothing to worry about. I've had a bunch
of them since I was in my 20's. They never get bigger, but
since menopause - I could swear I got a few more of them while
taking Estrogen replacement, so by all means lay off of any
hormonal treatment before going any further unless you're
experiencing symptoms that cannot be ignored.
Do also bear in mind that there could be OTHER causes for the
discomfort you're experiencing, that merit looking into
more closely.
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Reply Sat 22 Apr, 2006 09:29 pm
I have what my doctors have called simple cysts in my liver and spleen. They are small and were discovered while searching for the cause of abdominal discomfort. They weren't the cause of my discomfort, gallstones were and since their discovery my physician has ordered an MRI every two years so to keep an eye on the cysts. He says they are nothing to worry about as long as no changes are seen. Ten years and five MRIs and they are the still the same size.
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Reply Mon 13 Nov, 2006 11:49 pm

Hi, I was diagnosed with Gilbert syndrome and was found 3 hemangiomas in my liver (biggest 11 mm) I have a slight discomfort in my liver most of the time.I will be seeing a Gastroetereologist on 2 January to see what is the cause of all this.It's been very frustraiting the lst 5 months to not know what is going on with me. By the look of it all our problems a re hormonal.I had a baby boy in April 2005 and after I stoped breastfeeding my symptoms begun.
Good Luck to you and go for a specialist
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Reply Tue 14 Nov, 2006 02:44 pm

Welcome to A2K.

I hope you get some sure and certain answers for the New Year. Meanwhile, enjoy the holidays with your run-around baby.
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