Haemangioma Compressing Trachea

Patient

Q: My father (60 years) has developed severe breathing problems..He underwent a surgery 18 years ago on a haemangioma lump near the lungs. At that time , doctors tied a thread in the lump to prevent it from growing further. It has now increased in size and is pressing the trachea ..as a result , he has developed severe breaathing problems and is on a ventillator.All the other parameters are normal..BP , Sugar,Pulse etc..Doctors are suggesting embolization for restricting the growth of the mass..I believe the mass is a bunch of blood vessels knotted together and if touched could lead to severe bleeding and may be fatal..Can you throw some light on Embolization technique and the use of a stent?

Doctor

A:   A haemangioma is an abnormal collection of blood vessels. It can occur anywhere throughout the body. It is usually harmless but may increase to considerable size and compress important structures or bleed. The procedures being suggested by your father's doctors are aimed at alleviating his symptoms and allowing him to breath on his own. A stent placed in the trachea is designed to keep the trachea open despite compression from the haemangioma. Embolization is a special technique which introduces chemical into the blood vessels of the haemangioma. This chemical creates a clot and disrupts the blood supply to the tumor. This will prevent the tumor from growing any larger. This procedure coupled with the stent should allow your father to breathe on his own. These procedures are relatively low risk and offer a good outcome.

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