A hamartoma is an abnormal growth that's made up of the same tissue from which it grows.

  • The abnormality is that there are an excess number of cells that are structurally different from the main cells.
  • A hamartoma occurs when the tissue in the growth did not develop completely.
  • Hamartomas can occur throughout the body, but are often found in the head and neck, particularly around the ears.
  • If hamartomas occur in multiple sites throughout the body, their presence is called Cowden's disease.

Hypothalamic hamartomas and epilepsy

A hamartoma in the hypothalamus can cause your child to have seizures. Recent studies have shown that using a minimally invasive endoscopic operation to remove this kind of hamartoma has been incredibly effective. Take a look at Boston Children's Hospital's Robotic Surgery, Research and Training Program for more information.