Liver hemangioma is normally a non-cancerous condition found either during a regular physical examination or during the diagnosing of another condition. The most common types of tests that detect a liver hemangioma are imaging tests such as an MRI or a CT scan. Successful treatment of the condition can be expected in the majority of cases.
Liver hemangioma is a backup of poorly formed blood vessels in the liver. These blood vessels will become tangled, causing blood to pool and form a lump. The condition is non-cancerous and normally stays that way. According to the Mayo Clinic, most people that have liver hemangioma do not know they have it and do not require treatment. In many cases there are no symptoms.
While many people do not experience symptoms associated with liver hemangioma, some do start to show signs of the condition. Some of the more common symptoms include a sharp and chronic pain in the upper right part of the abdomen, a loss of appetite, feeling full after eating only a small amount of food, and nausea that can lead to vomiting.
It is possible for a small percentage of people suffering from liver hemangioma to experience advanced or more severe symptoms. Larger instances of liver hemangioma near other internal organs could interfere with those organs. For example, a liver hemangioma close to the kidney could cause abdominal pain. It is also possible that the liver hemangioma may grow until it bursts. A burst liver hemangioma causes sharp abdominal pain and internal bleeding. If the condition is not treated immediately, the internal bleeding could be fatal.
While anyone could contract liver hemangioma, some very specific risk factors may increase your chances. The Mayo Clinic indicates that women between 30 and 50 who have been pregnant are at the highest risk for contracting liver hemangioma. Post-menopausal women who went through hormone therapy are also at a higher risk.
For many cases of liver hemangioma, no treatment is needed. The condition may require monitoring by a doctor to ensure there is no threat of the liver hemangioma rupturing. In other cases, the liver hemangioma may be removed surgically. If there is a threat that the condition could reoccur, the section of liver may also need to be removed.