Forehead hemangioma: before and after photos of surgical removal - Vascular Birthmarks Foundation Forum
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  #1  
Old 05-02-2011, 05:25 PM
slcraig1 slcraig1 is offline
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Default Forehead hemangioma: before and after photos of surgical removal

Hi,
My daughter had a combination hemangioma on her forehead that grew very rapidly soon after her birth. Dr Levitin surgically removed it 6 months ago when she was 18 months old. I would now like to post pictures here in the hopes they may be helpful to others who are going through the same thing. The pictures document both the growth as well as the healing after surgery.

Like almost everyone who posts on this board, I had a very hard time deciding how best to treat the hemangioma. Our local (Houston, TX) dermatologist who specializes in hemangiomas recommended that we wait and see. We did just that for several months; but the hemangioma became so big and prominent on her forehead that I worried about the psycho-social impacts that other kids' teasing might have on her as she approached age two. I ended up opting for surgical removal at 18 months. Overall I am extremely happy with the results; and I was very happy with Dr Levitin and his team. They were able to convince my insurance provider to cover the cost of the surgery; and Dr Levitin was very approachable and responsive and spent a lot of time with me on the phone addressing my questions and concerns.

However, if I had it to do all over again, knowing what I do now and knowing how rapidly the hemangioma ended up growing, I would have taken her to a specialist right after birth and gotten her on proplanalol when the H was still very tiny. I can't help but wonder if we could have avoided surgery if we had used the proplanalol to stop the growth in the earliest phase. But I also know it would have been very tough to pump drugs into my tiny baby without being able to know what the result would be if I chose to wait and see. It's just a tough decision for anyone to make..

Anyway, upon trying to attach photos here, I ran up against file size limits; so I'm posting a URL to a photo set on Flickr instead. Reply to this post and let me know if you can't access it.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/6246854...7626631303066/

I hope this is helpful,
Sally

Last edited by slcraig1 : 05-04-2011 at 03:58 AM. Reason: adding link to photos
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:17 PM
adnama adnama is offline
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Hi Sally,
I can't see the pics because I don't have a yahoo account My son also has a H on his forehead and we're hoping it will be surgically removed this summer, but we have to wait till July and see if the Doc will do it yet. So far they have told us to "wait and see" and our son is now two. They have already told us he will need surgery reguardless so we're just hoping it will all be over and done with this summer instead of waiting another year or more. Very happy for your family that your daughters H journey has come to an end and thank you for sharing!!
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Old 05-02-2011, 07:35 PM
slcraig1 slcraig1 is offline
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Adnama,
So sorry to hear you can't access the photos. I just tried to change the permissions on them to "public". Maybe that will help? If not, maybe Missy can help me figure out how to post them all here. I'd love to figure out a way to imbed the images in the post itself. Missy, any suggestions?

Anyway, thank you for responding; and best of luck to you this summer. I hope everything goes as smoothly as possible!

Sally
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Old 05-02-2011, 10:29 PM
missy missy is offline
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Many times, pictures won't post because they are just too large, file-size wise. Our monitor will shrink them down, but they are really billboard size!! LOL

If you want, you can email them to me at contact@birthmark.org and I'll put them with the post.

Missy
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Old 05-03-2011, 02:00 AM
ScarlettsMommy ScarlettsMommy is offline
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OMG, very helpful. My daughter Scarlett is 22 months and we are getting ready to do the same thing. Her birthmark is very similar, and we are going to Dr. Levitin in NY. I just got the insurance approval today, and we are going to set a date this week (hopefully). Any tips/advice would be very welcome!

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Old 05-03-2011, 01:52 PM
KatieG KatieG is offline
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She looks awesome!

We are just now at 7 months post op for my daughter and her scar is turning white now so I am guessing hers will too!
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Old 05-04-2011, 02:36 AM
siobhan siobhan is offline
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Sally,

Thanks for sharing your daughter's story and pics. My daughter Emily has H on her forehead and my pediatrician told us to wait and see and my dermatologist said the same thing but I pushed and got a referral for laser treatments and then her H got really puffy and we were sent to a specialist who put her on propranolol.
I cried for a week because I thought it was my fault and that I was being selfish and should have let nature takes it course instead of pushing for all these interventions.
I know now that the laser treatments didn't make her H grow anymore than it would have on its own and that propranolol was/is the best thing that has happened in the course of her treatments but I remember when I was wrestling with my emotions and I just wanted to thank you for sharing. It means a lot to me and will to lots of other parents who come across this amazing forum. Your daughter is beautiful and I'm happy she is through the surgery and healing so well.
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Old 05-04-2011, 03:40 AM
slcraig1 slcraig1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScarlettsMommy View Post
OMG, very helpful. My daughter Scarlett is 22 months and we are getting ready to do the same thing. Her birthmark is very similar, and we are going to Dr. Levitin in NY. I just got the insurance approval today, and we are going to set a date this week (hopefully). Any tips/advice would be very welcome!

Aw, Scarlett is gorgeous! Her H is definitely very similar to my daughter's. It's a blessing that it's in the hairline. Dr Levitin will be probably be able to hide the scar very easily!

As far as tips, bring a couple of hoodies that zip or button up the front for after surgery. In addition to not having to put it on over her head, a hood is a wonderful thing to have if she has to have a drainage tube (my daughter had to have one for 2 days). You can place the "bag" into which the fluid drains into the hood so she doesn't have to drag it around behind her. Barrettes or clips are also good. You can use them to clip the drainage tube to her hair in several places and guide it straight to the back of her head so she can't yank it out as easily. Just make sure the barrettes aren't so tight that they cut off the fluid flow.

Otherwise, Dr L's office was very good about guiding me through the process and Dr L himself returned every call and text I sent him with questions after the surgery. I found him to be very accessible as well as very conservative and not willing to take risks and that made me feel as comfortable as I think I could have felt given the circumstances. And I found it's true what they say: it was harder on me than my daughter. She was acting her normal self less than 24 hours after surgery!

Best of luck to you! I'll look forward to hearing about the result!

Last edited by slcraig1 : 05-04-2011 at 04:11 AM.
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Old 05-04-2011, 03:51 AM
slcraig1 slcraig1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by siobhan View Post
Sally,

Thanks for sharing your daughter's story and pics. My daughter Emily has H on her forehead and my pediatrician told us to wait and see and my dermatologist said the same thing but I pushed and got a referral for laser treatments and then her H got really puffy and we were sent to a specialist who put her on propranolol.
I cried for a week because I thought it was my fault and that I was being selfish and should have let nature takes it course instead of pushing for all these interventions.
I know now that the laser treatments didn't make her H grow anymore than it would have on its own and that propranolol was/is the best thing that has happened in the course of her treatments but I remember when I was wrestling with my emotions and I just wanted to thank you for sharing. It means a lot to me and will to lots of other parents who come across this amazing forum. Your daughter is beautiful and I'm happy she is through the surgery and healing so well.
Thanks for sharing your story with me too. If I had it do all over again, I would have done the propranolol as soon as I knew she had the hemangioma -- when it was still just tiny. I wish the pedi hadn't told me to wait and see. I think if I had intervened early, it wouldn't have grown to the point where, in my opinion, it needed surgical intervention.

I'm so glad to hear the propranolol is working well for you. And thank you again for responding to my post. I wish your family the very best.
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Old 05-04-2011, 04:08 AM
slcraig1 slcraig1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieG View Post
She looks awesome!

We are just now at 7 months post op for my daughter and her scar is turning white now so I am guessing hers will too!
Thank you Katie! It's so encouraging to hear that you had a great outcome and that the scar will continue to fade!
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