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Vascular Malformations

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What are Vascular Malformations?

Vascular malformations are unusual, noncancerous growths of blood vessels. They can be inside the body or on the skin, in the form of birthmarks. Sometimes, they can’t be seen for weeks or months after birth, but they grow slowly throughout a lifetime.

The cause of vascular malformations often isn’t known, though they can be inherited in some families.

There are five types:

  • Port wine stains (red or purple in color)
  • Venous malformations
  • Lymphatic malformations
  • Arteriovenous malformations
  • Mixed malformations, a combination of any of the other types

UR Medicine's Treatments for Vascular Malformations

Treatment will depend on symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. If the growth is large, a team of doctors may be required, including plastic surgeons, dermatologists, and other specialists. Treatments may include: 

  • Laser therapy for port wine stains
  • Injection into the vascular malformation for arterial malformations
  • Injection of a clotting (sclerosing) medicine for venous malformations

Vascular malformations don’t shrink or go away without treatment. Patients should see a craniofacial doctor with experience in treating vascular malformations.

Noticeable vascular malformations can cause psychological and social issues. Support groups can help you, your child, and your family. Ask your child’s care provider about support groups in your area.

What Sets Us Apart?

UR Medicine leads the Rochester metropolitan area and surrounding region in the number and scope of specialized vascular-malformations services offered.

Our team of experts includes vascular and endovascular surgeons, cardiovascular surgeons, interventional cardiologists, and cardiovascular imaging specialists.

Our vascular surgeons often collaborate with specialists in cardiothoracic surgery and neurology, bringing a multidisciplinary approach to disease management.


Our care team is here for you. Find a UR Medicine expert and get care now.

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