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Haemangiomas are benign vascular tumours characterised histologically by a marked proliferation of blood vessels. They can be either congenital or acquired, and can affect the tongue, both within the oral cavity and the oropharynx. A variety of interventions exist for acquired haemangiomas including sclerotherapy and surgical resection. This paper reports the application of low-temperature plasma radiofrequency (coblation) in a series of 53 adult patients (mean age 43, range 17-69). Of the haemangiomas, 21/53 (40%) were located in the tongue base, with the remainder affecting the oral tongue. The most common presenting complaint was repeated pharyngeal haemorrhage (18/53, 34%) followed by a foreign body sensation (15/53, 28%). In terms of the results reported, mean operative time was 16.5 minutes, with very little blood loss (mean 10.1mls per case). No procedure was complicated by postoperative bleeding. This paper would have benefitted from the inclusion of more quantitative data; for example, details of the size of the haemangiomas treated as well as longer-term outcome data in terms of rates of residual or recurrent disease. Nevertheless, this is an interesting technical note describing a method for treating oral and oropharyngeal haemangiomas using a suitable mouth gag, angled endoscopes and an angled tonsillectomy coblation wand that appears to result in minimal bleeding, both intraoperatively and postoperatively.

Experience of low-temperature plasma radiofrequency treatment of 53 patients with tongue haemangioma.
Cui S, Cheng C, Tong Y.
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Christopher Burgess

Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, UK.

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