Interventional Radiology for Vascular Malformations

Also known as: sclerotherapy

What are vascular malformations?

Vascular malformations are congenital lesions from the abnormal development of arteries, veins, or lymphatic system vessels. They are often present at birth, growing with the child and sometimes causing pain, swelling, or body deformities. 

Treatment and diagnosis of vascular malformations in children

When initially evaluating your child, our physicians will use an ultrasound to detect unusual masses. They will then use an MRI to evaluate large and deep lesions that may be near critical body structures. 

Vascular malformations can be treated with sclerotherapy. During this procedure, the interventional radiologist injects the lesion with a medication that shrinks it.
child with Vascular Malformations on cheek Before and After

What to expect on the day of a sclerotherapy procedure

  • The physician will perform an ultrasound prior to the procedure
  • The treatment will take approximately 1 hour, but can be longer for complicated cases 
  • Most children are able to go home the same day
  • Post-procedure pain is usually minimal and can be controlled with over the counter pain medication

Vascular malformation treatment at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital

Interventional radiology is an integral part of our multidisciplinary team of technicians, dermatologists, and pediatric surgeons. The doctors at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital are experts in addressing the needs of children and specialize in pain control and anxiety relief.

This page was last updated on: March 18, 2021 01:18 PM

Children's Radiology

The Radiology facilities at Nicklaus Children’s are specifically designed for the comfort and diagnosis of infants, children and adolescents.

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3rd Annual Vascular Birthmarks Meeting - A Virtual Event

Date: Saturday, November 13, 2021

Learn more about the diagnosis, treatment and outcomes of vascular birthmarks in children and adolescents. Learn more.

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Learn more about

Vascular Malformations

A vascular malformation is an abnormality where clusters of blood vessels develop during fetal development. Learn more


An ultrasound is a large camera that helps doctors understand more about the tissues and organs inside the body. These painless exams help doctors see images in further detail. Learn more


Sclerotherapy is a medical treatment for varicose veins or spider veins, which are visible, bulging and often aching veins frequently found in the legs. Learn more

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)

Magnetic resonance imaging is a common imaging test used to give medical professionals a closer look at organs or structures inside the body. The images are created using magnetic and radio waves. Learn more