Monday, August 27, 2012

Lymphatic Malformation

Lymphatic Malformation affects approximately 1 in 6,000 live births, but the severity can range greatly. LM is a disorder where the lymphatic system does not develop properly and causes cysts to form under the skin. The most common area is the head and neck, but it can occur in many different places.

Cystic swelling in the affected area. Often affects all tissues involved, making treatment difficult.

LM is often detected via ultrasound in utero in the middle stages of pregnancy. After birth MRI, CT and ultrasound can confirm a diagnosis. Sometimes non-visible LM's are found because other symptoms are present.

Treatment of complex LM is difficult, often involving many treatments. Surgical removal of LM tissue is common. Sclerotherapy (inecting the cysts with an agent that helps irritate ans shut down each individual cyst) can be successful. Lymphatic malformation in the airway can be treated by lasers and other forms of removal. Treatment by a team well experienced in LM is essential. Dormant LM tissue often causes recurrence, so more complex LM is typically managed, not "cured".

The National Organization of Vascular Anomalies (and on Facebook)
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center- Hemangioma and Vascular Malformation Center

Personal Story:
My son Micah was diagnosed with a large head and neck LM at 24 weeks gestation. He has been treated at Cincinnati Children's since birth. His LM affects his airway and he has a trach and feeding tube. He has had over a dozen surgeries and other treatments to manage his LM. Micah is an amazing little boy who proves to us every day that miracles do happen! He is otherwise healthy and happy and a joy to those around him.

Contributed by MOM Brittany Hartman- Read more about Micah

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