Venous malformations are benign birthmarks due to malformed and stretched out veins. All venous malformations are present at birth and may appear in infancy, childhood and adulthood. They are blue to purple in color and may be in the form of a patch or a small mass. Venous malformations of the skin are usually found on the face, limbs or trunk. Treatment options for venous malformations include surgical removal, sclerotherapy, compression garments, and argon and yttrium-aluminum-garnet (YAG) laser therapy.
A lymphatic malformation is a mass in the head or neck that results from an abnormal formation of lymphatic vessels. Lymphatic vessels are small canals that lie near blood vessels and help carry tissue fluids from within the body to the lymph nodes and back to the bloodstream. There are two main types of lymphatic malformations: lymphangioma - a group of lymphatic vessels that form a mass or lump. A cavernous lymphangioma contains greatly enlarged lymphatic vessels. Cystic hygroma - a large cyst or pocket of lymphatic fluid that results from blocked lymphatic vessels. A cystic hygroma may contain multiple cysts connected to each other by the lymphatic vessels. Cystic hygroma occur mainly in the neck, but also occur in the mouth, cheek and around the tissues of the ear.
Lymphatic malformations are usually congenital defects that form during embryonic development. Symptoms include: a mass or lump in the mouth, cheek or tongue or a large fluid filled mass on the back of the neck. It is usually diagnosed via a fetal ultrasound, translumination or a CT scan. Treatments include: observation, antibiotics, incision and drainage of lesion or surgery, interventional radiology.
Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are defects of the circulatory system that are thought to arise during embryonic or fetal development or soon after birth. They are composed of tangled arteries and veins. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart to the body's cells; veins return oxygen-depleted blood to the lungs and heart. The presence of an AVM disrupts this vital cyclical process. Although AVMs can develop in many different sites including the skin, those located in the brain or spinal cord-the two parts of the central nervous system can have especially widespread effects on the body. They affect up to 300,000 Americans and is equally found in both females and males. There are very few if hardly symptoms associated with AVM. Symptoms vary from patient to patient and vary in severity. Most common symptoms are headaches and seizures. AVM’s can also cause some neurological symptoms which include: dizziness, muscle weakness, loss of coordination (ataxia), carrying out tasks, trouble understanding language, numbness, tingling, or spontaneous pain. AVM can be detected through a CT scan or an MRI. AVM can be treatment is challenging, however some are amenable to surgery and interventional radiology.