To determine the efficacy and safety of radiofrequency (RF) ablation of vesicles and the resulting symptomatic control of microcystic lymphatic malformation (LM) in the oral cavity.
An institutional review board–approved retrospective study with follow-up telephone interview.
Tertiary pediatric medical center.
Eleven children (6 girls and 5 boys), aged 4 to 16 years, presenting between August 1, 2002, and December 1, 2004.
Radiofrequency ablation of LM in the oral cavity.
Main Outcome Measures
Symptoms related to LM, postoperative oral intake, and postoperative antibiotic requirements.
Eleven patients presented with microcystic LM involving the lips, tongue, floor of the mouth, or buccal mucosa. Complaints included bleeding, infection, swelling, vesicle formation, and malocclusion. Patients underwent RF ablation (coblation) of oral cavity lesions. Seven (64%) of the 11 patients were able to tolerate oral intake in the recovery room. The need for antibiotics was reduced after RF ablation. All patients related diminished bleeding, pain, infection, or vesicle formation, with more than half reporting a significant improvement (6 patients) or complete resolution (1 patient). Five (62%) of 8 parents stated that the improvement after RF ablation was superior to that following previous procedures.
Subtotal RF ablation of LM appears to be safe, with early postoperative oral intake and minimal postoperative pain. Further studies are needed to determine long-term control of LM.