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December 1992

Surgical Dissection of Capillary HemangiomasAn Alternative to Intralesional Corticosteroids

Author Affiliations

From the Sections of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (Drs Deans and Harris) and Pediatric Ophthalmology (Dr Kivlin), Department of Ophthalmology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1992;110(12):1743-1747. doi:10.1001/archopht.1992.01080240083036

• Intralesional corticosteroids are often successful in reducing the size of functionally significant capillary hemangiomas. While they may have a better benefit-risk ratio than some earlier treatment methods, a number of serious complications have been reported recently. We believe these resulted from the hemodynamic continuity of capillary hemangiomas with the orbital and systemic circulation and that intralesional injections are intravascular. Surgery has generally been avoided because capillary hemangiomas are not encapsulated and piecemeal resection can produce significant bleeding. In carefully selected patients, we have used a surgical approach that involves dissection on the tumor's surface without entering its substance. Hemangiomas were removed en bloc from five patients with insignificant blood loss and excellent anatomic restoration.