What are venous malformations?

A venous malformation is an area of malformed veins existing either on the surface of the skin or reaching into deeper structures in the body. On the skin, it appears as a soft, flat patch or raised nodule of maroon or blue-colored tissue. Venous malformations usually appear at birth, vary greatly in size and may grow over time. In rare cases, when the venous malformation is large, there may be clotting, infection, and swelling in the tissue surrounding the malformation.

What are the symptoms of venous malformations?

Venous malformations typically appear on the lips, cheek, jaw, or inside the mouth but can appear in other areas as well. When your child is active or is lying down, the malformation may swell. When pressed, the mass is usually soft and collapsible but will regain its shape when released. Sometimes, small hard masses called phleboliths (calcium deposits) can be felt in the malformation.

How are venous malformations diagnosed?

Venous malformations are often diagnosed during a full physical exam. Imaging like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) which uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed organ and tissue mapping and (CT) scan, which produces a three dimensional view of the scanned area may be used to make sure there are no additional complications.

How are venous malformations treated?

There are many treatment options for a child with venous malformations, including:

  • Laser therapy
  • Sclerotherapy, a procedure used to treat blood vessels or blood vessel malformations
  • Surgery

About treatment for venous malformations at Children’s

Venous malformations are commonly treated through Children’s Vascular Anomalies Center, which is located on our Minneapolis campus. By coordinating experts from several pediatric disciplines into a single visit, families experience a new level of convenience in an environment focused exclusively on pediatrics. Every child is assigned a pediatric nurse case manager who coordinates all treatment and communication between care providers and the family.

Contact Us

For consultation, referral, or an appointment, call the Vascular Anomalies Center at 612-813-7100.