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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
What is a choroidal hemangioma?
A choroidal hemangioma is a benign tumor in your choroid. Your choroid is located between the white of your eye and your retina. The choroid contains the blood vessels of your eye. A choroidal hemangioma usually occurs in only one eye. The cause is not known.
What are the signs and symptoms of a choroidal hemangioma?
You may have no signs or symptoms. You may have blurred vision, wavy or warped vision, or floaters, shadows, or sparks of light in your vision.
How is a choroidal hemangioma diagnosed?
A choroidal hemangioma is usually found during a routine eye exam. An ultrasound, angiograph, CT, MRI, or autofluorescence test may be used to confirm the choroidal hemangioma. You may be given contrast dye to help the blood vessels show up better in the pictures. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye. Do not enter the MRI room with any metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.
What are the risks of a choroidal hemangioma?
The blood vessels inside your eye may leak. Fluid buildup from leaky vessels could detach your retina and cause permanent vision loss. Your symptoms may return, even with treatment.
How is a choroidal hemangioma treated?
You may not need treatment if you do not have symptoms. You will need to return for frequent eye exams so your healthcare provider can monitor the hemangioma. If you have symptoms, you may need any of the following:
- Photodynamic therapy may be used. Your healthcare provider will inject a light-sensitive dye into your bloodstream. Then he will shine a dye-activating light on the choroidal hemangioma. This closes the blood vessels in the hemangioma, shrinks them, and stops them from leaking.
- Laser and radiation therapies may also be used to repair retina damage and shrink the hemangioma.
- Enucleation is surgery to remove your eye. Enucleation is only used if other treatments are not successful or if severe fluid pressure cannot be corrected.
When should I contact my ophthalmologist?
- Your symptoms return after treatment.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
When should I seek immediate care?
- You have complete vision loss.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.