Vascular Malformations

Definition:
A vascular malformations is an abnormal growth of blood vessels that can lead to abnormally enlarged arteries, veins or an abnormal communication between arteries and veins. There are various types of malformations that include arteriovenous malformation, capillary vascular malformation, and venous vascular malformations.

A venous malformation can occur anywhere in the body and may be deep or superficial, localized or diffused. The jaw, cheek, tongue, lips, and extremities are common sites for a venous malformation. These lesions are soft to the touch, the color disappears and empties as the lesion is compressed. They may be painful, bleed easily, cause difficulty in wearing shoes or cloths, and may be cosmetically unpleasing.

Causes
There are various types of vascular malformations that include arteriovenous malformation, capillary vascular malformation, and venous vascular malformations.

There are various genetic components and some syndromes that include vascular malformations.

Treatment:
The natural history of most vascular malformations is a slow-steady enlargement. Certain things can cause them to grow more rapidly such as serious sickness, trauma, infection, hormone changes (puberty, pregnancy, menopause). Surgical removal is rarely complete, and the malformation may grow back.

Treatment of malformations may include embolization, surgical removal, or a combination of the two. Embolization involves the injection of a sclerosing agent into the abnormal blood vessels, causing them to involute.



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