Hemangiomas are birth marks caused by abnormal capillary formations. The smaller the hemangioma, the more likely it is to be completely eradicated by laser treatment. A group of 83 patients between 2 weeks and 17 years of age had laser treatments for a hemangioma. Overall, 22% experienced complete clearance. The birth defect was completely cleared in 32% of children whose stain was smaller than 20 square centimeters (cm) compared with 8% of children whose stain was over 20 square cm. Treatment was also more successful if it was begun before one year of age. Half of children under one year with a stain less than 20 square cm were cured compared with cure rates ranging from 22% to 33% for older children.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of laser is used to remove Hemangiomas?

The Pulsed Dye Laser (PDL) uses a beam of light at a specific wavelength that is used mainly to treat vascular lesions on the skin. It can also be used to treat spider veins, Rosacea, Hypertrophic (red/raised) scars, and warts.

Is the procedure painful?

There is a short burst of cold air that is applied to the skin before the laser pulse. This both provides protection to skin and gives some anesthesia. When the laser is applied to the skin, patients feel some stinging, similar in sensation to the snapping of a small rubber band against the skin. Most patients tolerate PDL without any topical anesthetic. However, any patient who would like topical anesthetic need only request it at the time that they make their appointment.

How should I prepare?

Do not tan or use any tanning lotions for two weeks before your procedure. You may want to take some ibuprofen (400-800 mg) a half-hour before your treatment.

How long is each treatment?

The average PDL treatment usually last about 15-20 minutes, but procedure time can vary depending on the size of the treated area.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of PDL treatments varies depending on the lesion or condition being treated. For example, a single spider vein on the face usually requires only one or two treatments, whereas a hemangioma involving the cheek, may require multiple treatments.

What will happen after treatment?

Most PDL treatments cause some mild redness and swelling over the treated area for about 24 hours. Occasionally you may also notice some mild bruising over the treated area which lasts from 7-14 days. For treatment of Port Wine Stains patients should expect bruising for 7-14 days. Mineral-based makeup may be used to cover the bruising.