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Abstract

Hemangiomas are a group of pediatric tumors that present at or soon after birth. Rapid proliferation is seen in the neonatal period, and may continue for the first year of life. Involution follows, and may last as long as 12 years. Since hemangiomas invariably involute, the vast majority have been left untreated. At least 10% to 20% of cases, however, will need active intervention, traditionally in the form of oral Prednisone. The frequent occurrence of life-threatening complications, permanent deformities, and irreversible psychosocial damage in spite of adequate steroid therapy necessitated a fresh look at the management of these lesions. Using recently developed laser technology alone or in combination with surgical excision, the authors have developed guidelines for safe intervention in all stages of the hemangioma cycle. Safe, active intervention in accordance with these guidelines offers an alternative to the more conservative approach previously advocated.