Orbital lymphangioma 02/06/2013
Lymphangiomas are congenital lesions that can appear in any part of the body, including the periocular region. These are benign lesions that are normally present from birth, although they may not have been noticed until years later.
Lymphangiomas are made up of dilated lymph channels and spaces that are full of liquid. These lesions take up space and, consequently, when they are present in the ocular orbit, can cause serious problems as it lacks any "extra" space to stretch and this can affect the structures responsible for sight.
Signs and symptoms
These are highly variable as the size and location in the orbital region also vary. Occasionally they may not be noticed and only appear when the lesion increases in size. If this happens, and so as not to jeopardise the patient's sight, urgent drainage is required.
On other occasions lymphangiomas produce severe deformations due to their size, and even visual loss.
The treatment of this malformation requires very difficult surgery with very high risk as these lymphatic malformations can be found even in the healthy tissue of the orbit.
Although it's impossible to completely remove the malformation, at the Institut de la Màcula we are pioneers in Europe in the percutaneous sclerosing treatment of orbital lymphangioma. This treatment, which is only carried out at two centres in the whole world, consists of completely eliminating the lymphatic malformation via a small puncture in the skin that does not require any stitches and leaves no scars.
Thanks to the collaboration of a team of interventional radiologists, we can access the inside of the lymphangioma under radiological control to ensure we do not damage any orbital structure. By inserting a catheter into the lymphangioma we carry out a dual sclerosing therapy that has proven to be highly effective with just one treatment.
Dr. José Nieto, M.D.
COMB Medical license number: 38.579
Specialist in ocular plastic surgery