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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Blood vessel plethora
Posted by: Kathryn
Date: June 6, 2003 1:59 PM

My vertebra are filled with blood vessels. They are called hemangiomata but I thought that was a bruise, and these are growing blood vessels which are crumbling the osteoporotic vertebra. I have a spot in my sacrum filled with blood vessel tissue. It was biopsied a couple of weeks ago and found to be benign. I have growths all over my body which are 1/2 inch to 3 inches long, about a quarter of an inch wide and feel lumpy. (My sister and I call them rotinis!) They are not visible but can be felt and are very tender with some pressure applied to the area. In May, 2002 I had one of these removed from my left breast. Yet another benign blood vessel tissue. What is happening to me? What causes excess blood vessels to grow where they don't belong? What can I do about it if anything? Do I need to do anything? I have many other physical issues but this one is of some specific concern to me. The sacral area causes me a significant amount of pain. I don't know if this would be in your area of expertise, but have no idea where to turn. I have CD of CT scan, bone scan film and lab report from breast biopsy. I would sincerely appreciate any input you can provide regarding this problem.

RE: Blood vessel plethora
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: June 6, 2003 2:58 PM

The medical term for what you describe in hemangiomatosis. It is the abnormal proliferation of blood vessels. Depending on their size or where they occur they can be asymptomatic (and perhaps even not detected) to very obvious and symptomatic. They can also be associated with more serious disorders. They are treated or not treated based on such considerations as pain or absence of pain, cosmetic considerations, and association with other disorders. The clinical picture varies so widely from one person to the next, I think that in your place I would go to a university medical center - a medical school environment. The specialty which most commonly sees and treats hemangiomatosis is orthopedics, so I would seen a consultation with a professor of orthopedics at a university medical school setting. The reason I say this is that unusual conditions tend to be referred to the university medical school environment and therefore, even for rare conditions, you find individuals with experience in having dealt with those problems in the past, and of course the wisdom which comes with experience is of paramount importance in receiving proper medical care.

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