Venous Malformation Information

Venous Malformations is an abnormality of the larger, deep venins and is often called a "hemangioma." Some actually look like hemangiomas but a good history will reveal whether or not the lesion is a hemangioma or vascular malformation. A venous malformation can be deep or superficial, localized or diffused. The closer the vessels are to the surface, the deeper the color to the eye. A very deep lesion will have no color but will show a protruding mass. The jaw, cheek, tongue and lips are common sites for a venous malformation. These lesions are soft to the touch, the color disappears and empties as the lesion is compressed. When the child cries or is lying down, the lesion expand, the vessels fill and the color becomes more intense. The natural history is a slow-steady enlargement. Regardless of how small it is upon detection, it will grow. Certain things can cause them to grow more rapidly such as serious sickness, trauma, infection, hormone changes (puberty, pregnancy, menopause). Partial removal is not recommended since these lesions will just grow back.

Lymphatic Malformations used to be called cystic hygroma, hemangiolymphangioma, or lymphangiomas. The lymphatics serve as a collection and transfer system for tiisue fluids. When something disturbs this system, a lymphatic malformation is formed. The excess fluid accumulates and the affected lymphatic vessels enlarge and you see a mass. If the lymph vessels in the face are affected, the face swells because the normal active transport mechanism has been disturbed. These lesions can occur anywhere but are common in the head and neck area. These lesions may be superficial or deep (superficial ones are seen in the mouth area and look like frogs eggs) . These lesions increase or grow with the individual. They may enlarge following an upper respiratory infection.

Arteriovenous Malformations are always present at birth but are usually not noticed until later in life. Sometimes they do not appear until adulthood. Defective blood flow has been associated with these lesions. As the lesion ages, the vessels enlarge and thicken to compensate for the increased blood supply. There are two grades: low and high. Low grade grow slowly with the child and high grade expand rapidly, growing faster than the child until the lesion may eventually become life threatening. An AV malformation is a firm mass. Common sites are the lips and other head and neck areas. Mixed malformations include a combination of two or more vascular lesions.