Purpose: To examine the role of adjuvant surgical resection of infantile hemangiomas after systemic ß-blocker therapy. Methods: This is a multicentered retrospective study. Standard protocol for oral propranolol was employed by the referring physicians. Ocular indications for surgery included ptosis obstructing the visual axis, high degrees of astigmatism causing amblyopia, or disfigurement from residual tumor. Patients underwent complete excision or debulking. Results: Eleven girls and 4 boys were surgically treated with mean operative age of 34.4 months. Patients were followed for a mean of 19.6 months after surgery. Four patients required surgical treatment due to an inability to tolerate medical therapy secondary to drug-related side effects (including bradycardia). The other 11 patients proceeded to surgery due to residual eyelid and orbital lesions despite medical treatment. All 15 patients underwent orbitotomy for residual hemangioma excision. Four patients also underwent simultaneous levator advancement at the time of excision. In all cases, there was resolution of ptosis with clearing of the visual axis. No complications were incurred during the surgical treatment and there were no hemangioma recurrences. Conclusions: This is the first study to report surgical management of periocular infantile hemangiomas recalcitrant to standard therapy in the ß-blocker era. In patients with infantile hemangioma who have failed medical therapy, adjuvant surgical treatment still plays an important role. For patients with persistent tumor causing ocular sequelae, surgical intervention aimed at soft tissue debulking and ptosis repair can be successful in achieving excellent functional and aesthetic outcomes with minimal side effects.
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