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Newborn is having large growth and swelling on ear. What could it be?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 2349 Questions
Hi. I work for a XXXXXXX in Asia. One of our volunteer's sisters has had a baby which has a large growth / tumour / swelling on her ear / face. The rural doctors appear to have no idea what it is, or what to do. I wonder if you could view the photos and perhaps give an initial diagnosis? This would be very helpful before she goes to one of the larger towns to try and find out more. Many thanks. XXXXXX
Posted Fri, 3 May 2013 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 53 minutes later

Thanks for posting the query and I appreciate the efforts taken by you to help your colleague's child.

After going through the images posted by you, the lesion seems to be a hemangioma encroaching the external ear. Haemangioma is a benign tumour seen in some newborns and occasionally in the adults. The commonest sites are on the cheek, chin, nose and the ear.

Usually, we reassure the parents if the hemangioma is small. But, in this case, I would rather advice the parents to consult a plastic surgeon at the earliest because, the hemangioma has approached the ear pinna and the chances of pinna deformation in the future cannot be ruled out.

There are various modalities of treatment, such as, embolisation and blocking of the feeder blood vessel, surgical excision, propanol injection, etc.

Please check the links below for your reference:

Hope this answers your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Newborn is having large growth and swelling on ear. What could it be? 1 hour later
Thank you for the quick and helpful reply. I will suggest that they consult a surgeon as soon as they can, and money allows. Philippines medical facilities can be patchy so they may have to travel to Manila or Davao.

From the various on-line articles, it looks like the growth goes into a "rest phase" by about 12-14 months. This baby is 3 months, so hopefully the "fast growth" part is complete or nearly so.

If surgical removal is the best option, when is the best time to have it done? As soon as possible, or during the "rest phase" when growth has stopped?
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 48 minutes later

Thanks for writing back

As mentioned before, small lesions are usually left alone, but this one has covered almost half of the ear pinna. Later, the pinna can become deformed and no amount of cosmetic surgery will help. Surgery can be performed after 3 months. By the time the parents take the child to the specialist, get the investigations done and take an appointment for surgery it will become 3 months easily.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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