The most common type of vascular malformation is called a venous malformation and involves veins that develop abnormally and do not function properly. Venous malformations are present at birth but may not be obvious until they appear later. They grow larger over time as the child grows. This causes the veins to stretch and frequently swell and create pain. Venous malformations vary in size and are found anywhere in the body with the majority affecting the skin of the face, legs, or arms. Bones, joints, muscles, and mucous membranes are commonly impacted as well.
Because venous malformations involve an intricate network of veins, they typically appear as blue or purple in color. They are soft and easy to compress and will enlarge when a person cries or exerts pressure. Blood flows through these malformations more slowly making the patient more susceptible to blood clots.
At the Vascular Birthmark Institute of New York, we will carefully assess the size and location of the venous malformation and evaluate which blood vessels are compromised. The options for treatment will be dependent on the level of complication it is causing, including pain, airway blockage, internal bleeding, or impaired speech or vision. There are a number of approaches that Dr. Milton Waner can use for venous malformations, and all are provided on an individual basis. These include:
Using ultrasound and x-ray technology as a guide, a specialized solution is injected into the abnormal veins to shrink blood vessels and make it less noticeable. Multiple sclerotherapy sessions are usually required for the best outcome.
Heat and light is used to reduce the blue or purple coloring of the malformation. This method is often combined with sclerotherapy and surgery for optimal results.
In combination with sclerotherapy, venous malformations may be excised with surgery. Results have been excellent.
Our caring team at The Vascular Birthmark Institute of New York is here to help you navigate the complexities of vascular anomaly. We will walk with you each step of the way.