Vascular Malformations

Vascular malformations are congenital conditions related to blood vessels and lymph vessels. While some malformations are visible at birth, others appear during childhood or later. It is believed to occur due to developmental errors during embryogenesis. As blood vessel malformations usually accompany other genetic syndromes, a multidisciplinary approach is recommended to simultaneously manage the symptoms.

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  • Conservative Therapy: There are several conservative therapies for managing vascular malformations. The choice of therapy depends upon the type and severity of the malformation. Compression therapy, generally used for localized venous malformations in the subcutaneous tissues, relieves swelling and congestion. Physiotherapy improves the functional abilities of limbs. Sporting activities also help in managing the symptoms of venous malformations. Further, the doctor may prescribe certain medications, such as anticoagulants, immune modulators, and analgesics, to manage and reduce complications. The other conservative therapies include psychotherapy, camouflage, and cooling or elevation.
  • Surgical excision: Surgical excision may also be performed to treat venous malformations. It is effective in the management of patients suffering from venous malformations with significant pain and disfigurement. Surgical resection is especially effective in the resection of well-localized and well-defined venous malformations. It is possible to completely remove the malformation; however, the surgeon should consider the anatomical and functional characteristics before the procedure. Even if the malformation is partially removed, it may result in a reduction of the mass and an improvement in aesthetic appearance. The surgeon usually performs sclerotherapy before the surgical excision to reduce bleeding and smooth the removal of the malformation.
  • Embolization: This technique is generally used with surgery or sclerotherapy for treating vascular malformations. The procedure involves placing permanent devices, such as embolization glue or coils, through catheter, into the vascular malformation. The device seals the site at which the vascular malformation connects with the circulating veins.
  • Angioembolization: Angioembolization is usually performed before the surgery to reduce bleeding perioperatively. Angioembolization provides benefits to patients by reducing further tissue damage and physiologic insult.