Why would you not do laser on infant? - Vascular Birthmarks Foundation Forum
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  #1  
Old 06-02-2010, 02:40 PM
sarajustice80 sarajustice80 is offline
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Default Why would you not do laser on infant?

My baby girl who is 8 weeks has a small hemangioma growing on her head. 2 different doctors have both suggested laser treatment early or observation. I am confused because I didn't think that it was that simple of solution. Just laser it off? Why wouldn't everyone do this? Is there a lot of risks with the laser? If we wait and see how big this gets to decide will the laser be ineffective at that time??

Thanks, so confused!
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  #2  
Old 06-02-2010, 03:26 PM
stepmom of 2 stepmom of 2 is offline
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how small is the H? my daughters grew to be about the size of a dime, and we chose not to treat it. i've known several people with h's and they all regressed and weren't a problem, so we felt very comfortable waiting it out. i didn't want to do anything that would cause any pain for my daughter if it wasn't necessary. i think some parents see all the worst case H's out there on the internet and freak out thinking that this will happen to thier child and they need to treat it... when really, it's only a very small portion of children who have that problem. some doctors offer treatment just to put the parent's mind at ease... even if it's not really necessary.

lasering does not remove the H... it can help slow the growth, but it will not go away with a laser. laser is also helpful if the H ulcerates.

here are some pics of my daughter.. you can see how small it was at 3 weeks, then the max size at 6 months, and now at 1 year it is going away... this is the normal course of action for H's.
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File Type: jpg 6 months2.JPG (72.8 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 1 year.jpg (46.9 KB, 0 views)
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  #3  
Old 06-02-2010, 04:53 PM
sarajustice80 sarajustice80 is offline
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Its the size of a pencil eraser and raising. The rate at which its growing is what scares me. So there isn't really any risks with the laser other than pain? Not knowing how big this can get, I'm starting to think that laser might be a good option for us. So its doesn't eliminate but rather stops the growth? And would the shrinking be the same?

Thanks
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  #4  
Old 06-02-2010, 05:25 PM
edensmom edensmom is offline
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Well ours wasnt the worst case, but i wish i had been more informed than just the wait and see that our ped. recommended. I wish i would have know about the laser treatment earlier for our daughter. Edens started out flat and about the size of a dime. The laser could have kept it from growing. By the time we were referred to a specialist it had grown to the size of a golf ball. Huge and raised... and it ulcerated due to rapid growth. Once it grows the laser will not so much to shrink it. Hers in on her scalp. She has scar tissue and a bald spot from the ulceration. We have opted for surgery to remove it.
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Old 06-02-2010, 05:38 PM
sarajustice80 sarajustice80 is offline
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Wow edensmom sorry to hear that. I wish you would of known about laser treatments as well. Best of luck on your surgery. Thanks for sharing your experience.
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  #6  
Old 06-02-2010, 06:22 PM
stepmom of 2 stepmom of 2 is offline
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is the h superficial? have you asked the doctors if they have any reason to think that the H may grow, or become compound? there is also a topical beta blocker that may be an option, there are other posts about that on here...
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:59 PM
sarajustice80 sarajustice80 is offline
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stepmom-we spoke to Dr. Levitin today and he said that of course it was potential to grow but he does not think it will get too big. At this point he is not sure if laser will be that beneficial being that its raising already(bulge underneath) but also said that it would not hurt either.

Currently it is the size of a pencil eraser but has a bump underneath it.

I was really hopeful about the laser but after speaking with him it doesn't sound like it will help much. sigh.
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  #8  
Old 06-02-2010, 10:27 PM
sarajustice80 sarajustice80 is offline
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also- if it feels like it has a hard bump underneath is that considered a superficial h?
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  #9  
Old 06-03-2010, 07:17 PM
DevsMom DevsMom is offline
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There are risks to lasers like everything else. My sons first derm did two lasers,,,the second one I think he was a little too agressive and caused some scarring on the area. Also, if too many lasers are done when there isn't much redness left then you run the risk of the laser attacking healthy tissue, resulting in depigmention. Bottom line, you always want to be very confident in your doctor.

The bump underneath could mean there is a deeper portion or it could mean that the superficial portion is growing and raising. When dealing with a deep & superficial h some doctors prefer to do the lasers prior to any needed surgery (if needed at all) and some doctors prefer to do lasers after. Lasers lessen the redness of a superficial hemangioma...over a period of time. I believe the thought is also that if superficial h's are treated early enough with lasers it may prevent them from becoming raised.
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  #10  
Old 06-09-2010, 02:06 AM
tara tara is offline
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I would trust a pediatric dermatologist if they say its ok to do "watchful waiting" then I would trust this. There are cases when early laser is best, and I, personally, trust them to make the judgement call.

Our DD has a large hemangioma on her right hand, covering both top and bottom... it got darker at first which is normal, but then its started to lighten up at around 6 months or so.

To me, I figured that unless it started to grow rapidly/ulcerate that we would just let be "natural". Its fading now, and the doctor anticipates that it will be gone or mostly gone by the time she starts kindergarten, but if its not then we can give her the option of having laser treatment then or when she's older even. Anyhow, that is our personal situation and our reason for why we haven't started any laser treatment.

Like previous posters said there are some risks involved, and I don't know all the details but I think a baby as little as ours would have to be restrained/sedated (not without their own risks) for the procedure and it would cause some pain (?) and as others said could cause scarring of its own accord.
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