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Birthmarks and Vascular Anomalies Center
BVAC Physicians and Staff
Information About Vascular Anomalies
Treatments/ Philosophy
Resources for Patients

Birthmarks and Vascular Anomalies Center
Venous Malformations (VM)

VMs are made up of abnormal veins that are excessively dilated and interconnected abnormally. They are usually present at birth although they may not be obvious until later in life. They can be localized to a small part of the body or can cover a larger part or segment of the body (e.g. a whole arm, half of the face, etc.). Some VMs involve deeper structures such as muscles, bones, or even interal organs.

Venous Malformation of the arm
Venous Malformation of the chin

VMs often cause a blue color in the skin. They can swell and change size depending on activity. The skin temperature over the VM may be normal or slightly warm. VMs are sometimes painful and can cause disfigurement. Symptoms vary depending on the location of the malformation. Clots can sometimes form in the abnormal veins and can progress to "phleboliths" which are hard, painful calcium deposits. VMs may slowly get worse over a person's lifetime.

In addition to doing a thorough physical exam, your doctorJuly 14, 2006RI is the best way to see how large and deep the VM is and what types of vessel it is made of.

The treatment of VMs is specific to each patient but may include compressive stockings, daily aspirin, sclerotherapy, or surgical removal.


Updated: January 24, 2008
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