Lymphangioma,is a lymphatic malformation,a benign proliferation of lymph vessels, or a yellow-ish tumor on the skin, composed of a mass of dilated lymph vessels. It is often removed by surgery or a form of surgery using an electric current(electrocoagulation) for cosmetic reasons. It is rare, incidence estimated to be around 1 per 10 000 live births. They are fluid filled sacs that result from blockage of the lymphatic system. They are often associated with karyotype abnormalities such as Turner syndrome. These tumors may occur anywhere but usually occur in the head and neck (75%), with a predilection for the left side. Most (90%) are either evident at birth or become evident before age 2 years. Other types of Lymphangioma are Cystic lymphangioma, Lymphangioma cavernosum and Lymphangioma circumscriptum.

  • The tumor is a hamartoma or vascular developmental abnomality arising from lymphatic vessels, manifesting as a raised, soft, shaggy, bubbly, pinkish-white lesion; cosmetic considerations may warrant attempted removal of lymphangiomas.

Types of Lymphangioma

Lymphangioma circumscriptum - Also referred to as cutaneous this is a "kind" of birthmark generally occurring in clusters. They resemble small blisters and range in color from pink to dark red. They are benign and usually require no medical treatment. For cosmetic reasons, some patients may choose to have them surgically removed. Lymphangiomas Simplex is often included in this type.This is also a type of tumor that is commonly seen in younger children.

Cavernous lymphangioma - This is an uncommon form generally arising during infancy. These are deep seated underneath the dermis and the external skin is not involved. Because they are deep seated, they form a bulging mass, painless mass. This is also a tumor filled with lymph that is often mixed with blood. It usually affects the tongue and lips.

Cystic Hygroma - These are soft lymph filled masses within a thin-walled "sac" generally appearing on the neck (75%), arm pit or groin areas. They usually present a swollen bulges underneath the skin. While they generally present at birth, children up to three years old may experience them. There is also disagreement on whether this type is distinctly different enough from cavernous lymphangioma to be classified separately.

Lymph Nodes

One of many small oval structures that filter the lymph, fight infection and in which there are formed white blood cells and blood plasma cells. They come in various sizes, they can range from being as small as a pin head or as big as a bean. Each node is enclosed in a fiberous capsule and consist of closely packed white cells(lymphocytes) connected tissue and lymph path ways.Most lymph nodes are clustered in certain areas, such as mouth, neck, lower armpit and groin.For example visceral lymph nodes filter lymph circulating in the lymphatic vessals of the viscera of the chest, lower body and pelvis. The lymphatic network and nodes of the breast are especially crucial in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer in women also called lymph gland.

  • A Lymph is a clear, watery, sometimes faintly yellowish fluid derived from body tissues that contains white blood cells and circulates throughout the lymphatic system, returning to the venous bloodstream through the thoracic duct. Lymph acts to remove bacteria and certain proteins from the tissues, transport fat from the small intestine, and supply mature lymphocytes to the blood.
  • A Lymph Gland is any of the small bodies located along the lymphatic vessels, particularly at the neck, armpit, and groin, that filter bacteria and foreign particles from lymph fluid. During infection, lymph nodes may become swollen with activated lymphocytes.
  • A Lymphatic Vessel is any of the vascular channels that transport lymph throughout the lymphatic system and freely anastomose with one another.


There is no known cause for these lymphatic abnormalities. There are some suggested reasons but none are certain. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy is one of the most likely causes of this cosmetic deformity.Other hypotheses have been made but most likely are not true.

Effects from Surgery

"Eighteen patients were treated. The average age at initial surgery was 22 weeks (median, 5 weeks). All presented with at least unilateral suprahyoid and infrahyoid cavernous (microcystic) lymphangioma. The tongue base was involved in 11 patients, the parapharyngeal space in 12, and the larynx in 8." "Neck dissection was performed initially in all patients. Tracheotomy was performed in 9 patients (50%). Macroglossia was treated by V glossoplasty. Parapharyngeal extensions were treated by cervicotomy or endoscopy, and larynx and tongue base extensions by carbon dioxide laser photocoagulation. Supraglottic laryngectomy was performed in 2 patients." "Main Outcome:Residual disease, decannulation, duration of tracheotomy, and persistent respiratory symptoms." "Conclusion:Involvement of the upper airway seems to be the determining prognostic factor in extensive lymphangioma. Patients with dyspnea by external compression of cervical lymphangioma on the airway responded well to surgery. Aggressive surgical treatment did not seem to significantly improve the prognosis in patients with intrinsic involvement of the upper airway. The natural evolution of untreated massive lymphangioma has not been documented. Less aggressive, symptomatic therapy may be an alternative to avoid mutilating surgery in patients with intrinsic involvement of the airway.


Lymphangioma Circumscription is usually succesfully healed when treated with a flashlamp pulsed dye laser. This is cause port-wine stains and other vascular lesions.

External links


Search another word or see cervicotomyon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature