Lymphangioma: Definition, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Also known as lymphatic malformations, they are non-cancerous masses of the lymphatic system consisting of fluid spaces.

The lymphatic system of a person functions as part of the immune system and is responsible for protecting the body from diseases and infections.

Malformations are commonly present at the child’s birth or at the time the child reaches two years of age. Lymphangioma may affect any part of the body except the brain but is more common in the neck and head.

When the mass is congenital, the malformation is spongy, soft, and not sensitive. Several lymphangiomas may be significant, and others may not, but despite the size, the mass may still cause functional deterioration of specific organs or other nearby structures and disfigurement.

Lymphangioma circumscribed

Lymphangioma circumscriptum is a microcystic malformation in the lymphatic system that usually appears in the neck, armpits, mouth, and shoulders.

They will appear like a small blister that gathers and contains lymphatic fluid. The color varies from pink to dark red, black, or brown.

Small patches may become more visible during puberty and may bleed or become infected. These are benign or non-cancerous, and treatment is usually unnecessary, but some people still prefer to have them surgically removed for cosmetic reasons.



The precise reason why lymphatic malformations arise is not yet known. Lymphangioma is the product of abnormalities in the development of the lymphatic vascular system during embryonic growth.

No hereditary, environmental or immunological risk factors have been identified as the triggering factor of the lymphatic malformation.

Lymphangioma may occur in the mother’s uterus due to more extensive, such as Turner, Down, and Noonan syndrome. The lymphatic malformations commonly discovered in this context revert and are not present at the time of birth.

Symptoms of lymphangioma

Symptoms caused by lymphangioma arise from blockage or compression of nearby structures in general. These malformations can involve any tissue, but they are usually seen in only one body area and are often scattered.

If the lymphatic malformations are distributed in soft tissues and bones, this can be called lymphangiomatosis.

Malformations usually grow slowly as the patient grows, but sometimes they become smaller or proliferate if triggered by trauma, bleeding, or infection.

Not all people with this condition experience all the symptoms that include:

  • The jaws, tongue, arms, fingers, cheeks, legs, or lips are swelling.
  • Respiratory difficulties
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Speech problems
  • Hypertrophy or excessive growth within an organ.
  • A large mass filled with fluid on the neck’s back and underside.
  • Double vision.
  • Chest problems
  • Constipation.
  • Obstruction of the bladder.


The doctor can perform the following procedures after performing a physical examination and knowing the complete medical history of the patient for the diagnosis of lymphangioma:


It is a diagnostic tool used to evaluate specific structures and organs in the body that involves high-frequency sound waves. Some lymphatic malformations can be seen during pregnancy.


Transmission of light through the tissues is used to aid in the diagnosis.

Computed tomography:

It is an imaging procedure that uses computer technology and X-rays to produce cuts on the body. This method is more detailed because it produces clear images of any body part.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI):

This method could show the characteristics of the soft tissues and, sometimes, helps distinguish the type of malformation present.

Treatment of lymphangioma

Lymphangioma treatments depend on certain factors determined by the doctor. General health, age, medical history, the degree of the condition, and the patient’s preference or tolerance to specific treatments should be considered.

The observation is observed if there can be growth or changes and followed by specific treatments such as:


Antibiotics are usually prescribed to treat infections.


This can be recommended, mainly if the malformation is located in an area of ​​the body. The objective is to avoid additional complications and recover the function of the affected area.


It is a procedure used to mark the sac of the affected area so that it can not be filled again.