Vascular Malformation

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vascular-malfunctionVascular malformation grow along with a person over time.  Vascular malformation includes capillary, venous, lymphatic and arteriovenous malformation.  Like hemangiomas, no one knows why a vascular malformation develops in a child.  These malformations oftentimes are very difficult to treat because of how invasive the malformation is, involving skin, subcutaneous tissue, and muscle.  Vascular malformation is not a tumor because the cellular growth behavior of any type of vascular malformation is not accelerated.  Because a vascular malformation is invasive to skin, fat and muscle, it is difficult to excise completely.  Sometimes, it is difficult to control blood loss during an operation, and blood transfusion may be needed.

Typically, numerous operations are needed over many years to reduce the overall size of the vascular malformation.  Intralesional destruction by an interventional radiologist of a large venous and arteriovenous malformation may be the only method to reduce the size of these types of vascular malformation.  Lasers may be effective for port-wine stains (venous malformation) of the face.  A combination of interventional radiological ablation, laser and surgical excision may be the most useful strategy to treat these very difficult problems.

If the vascular malformation is not large and not affecting a person’s life, then observation may be the best option.  In order to best determine a proper treatment plan, a comprehensive examination by a pediatric plastic surgeon with the aid of imaging studies such as a MRI is recommended.