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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
About Us

Since 1991, the Vascular Anomalies Center at UCSF has provided comprehensive multidisciplinary, specialized care for vascular birthmarks and acquired vascular anomalies in children and adults. We have recently expanded our services and renamed ourselves the Birthmark and Vascular Anomalies Center of Northern California at UCSF (BVAC). We have evaluated and treated more than 1,000 individuals with vascular anomalies. We also have dozens of years of cumulative experience in management of a variety of other birthmarks, such as Congenital Melanocytic and Epidermal Nevi as well as other less common birthmarks. Depending on specific patient needs, patients are either seen by the entire team at 1701 Divisadero Street in the Department of Dermatology outpatient offices or in coordinated appointments at various sites in the UCSF Medical Center.

BVAC is equipped to handle the full range of birthmarks and vascular anomalies through state-of-the-art evaluation and treatment. Our treatment capabilities include excisional and laser surgery, radiologically guided sclerotherapy, and medical therapies. We have been able to demonstrate the importance and effectiveness of this approach in a recently performed study of 175 patients seen at BVAC from January 2001 to July 2003. We found that only 22% of patients had been assigned correct, specific diagnoses prior to coming to BVAC and 13% had incorrect, specific diagnoses prior to coming to BVAC. The large majority were symptomatic from their vascular anomaly (Mathes EF, Haggstrom AN, Dowd C, Hoffman WY, Friden IJ: Clinical characteristics and management of vascular anomalies: findings of a multidisciplinary vascular anomalies clinic. Arch Dermatol 2004 Aug;140(8):979-83). The number of incorrect diagnoses and changes in management resulting from correct diagnosis underscores the importance and effectiveness of BVAC in providing accurate diagnoses, clear treatment recommendations, and counseling from a team of specialists.

This is currently the only Vascular Anomalies and Birthmark Center in Northern California. Moreover, BVAC was the first such center formed on the West Coast of the United States with continuous service to patients for more than a decade. We get referrals from all over Northern and Central California, as well as Hawaii, other Western States and occasional referrals from other parts of North America and abroad. We are pioneers in laser surgery of birthmarks: Dr. Hoffman has more experience than any other physician in Northern California in the surgical treatment of birthmarks such as giant congenital melanocytic nevi, venous malformations, and hemangiomas. Dr. Dowd has the most experience and expertise in all of California in the use of interventional radiologic procedures for congenital vascular anomalies. Dr. Frieden is recognized as a world expert in the evaluation and management of infantile hemangiomas and other vascular birthmarks. Dr. Kristina Rosbe is a pediatric otolaryngologist who manages airways and other ENT aspects of vascular anomalies.

Updated: September 30, 2014
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