Lymphatic malformations, also referred to as lymphangiomas, are abnormal collection of lymphatic fluid within cysts or channels, usually in the soft tissue. It can occur everywhere in the body, except for the brain. Most patients develop lymphatic malformations with a combination of large and small cysts. At Allure Aesthetic Surgery of Beverly Hills, our highly-experienced face plastic surgeon and board-certified head and neck surgeon, Dr. David Shamouelian, specializes in the treatment of head and neck lymphatic malformations.
Causes of Lymphatic Malformations
Lymphatic malformations occur when the lymph vessels that make up the lymphatic system are not formed properly, resulting in the defective transport of lymph and an abnormal collection of lymphatic fluid. This condition can manifest early in life, although they can also occur in young people or adults. Lymphatic malformations can be progressive and expand more rapidly with advancing age. Growing cysts may cause serious upper respiratory infections or ear infections may also impair breathing or swallowing, depending on their location. In some patients, especially with older ones, lymphatic malformations tend to expand much slower.
Treatment Options for Lymphatic Malformations
Some children with minor cases of lymphatic malformation may not require treatment. In most cases, we recommend treatment of lymphatic malformations in children very early in life to avoid or reduce skeletal deformities. here are a few treatment options to choose from. The type of treatment suitable for the patient will be determined after initial consultation and thorough examination. Below are some of the treatment options we offer at Allure Aesthetic Surgery of Beverly Hills:
- Sclerotherapy – This treatment is ideal for treating Macrocystic LMs. It involves injecting an irritating agent into the malformation to shrink the affected lymphatic channels.
- Surgical Excision– This is often used for Microcysts LMs and can also be combined with another treatment method.
- Laser Therapy – This is typically performed to treat skin blemishes associated with Macrocystic LMs. It can also be used to treat leaking and bleeding lymphatic blebs.