Vascular anomalies are abnormalities or disorders of blood vessels or lymphatic vessels in various parts of the body. Vascular anomalies are classified as either a vascular tumour or vascular malformation.
Vascular malformations are present at birth, though they may not be obvious for several years.
Types of vascular malformations include:
● Naeus simplex - common, benign capillary vascular malformation colloquially known as 'salmon patch' and 'stork mark'
● Port-wine stains
● Venous malformations (abnormal veins)
● Arteriovenous malformations (abnormal arteries and veins)
● Lymphatic malformations (abnormal lymphatics, or lymph vessels, which can lead to enlarged water-filled cysts and swelling)
● Complex combined malformations (sometimes accompanying a genetic syndrome), including:
The majority of vascular tumours are benign. The most common type of vascular tumours are infantile haemangiomas. These typically present at birth or within the first few weeks after birth, may grow for 6 to 12 months before they begin to shrink (regress). Small and uncomplicated vascular tumours may not require treatment. However, haemangiomas that cause bleeding problems or ulceration, feeding or breathing difficulties, growth disturbances, or impairment of vision. Treatment options may include the following: topical timolol solution, oral propranolol, embolisation or surgical removal.
Other types of vascular tumours include:
The management of vascular anomalies can be complex and may involve various subspecialties. Our Multidisciplinary Vascular Anomalies Workgroup (MVAW) is an integrated team of experts specialising in the diagnosis and management of patients with complex vascular anomalies.
The team is composed of: Dermatologists, radiologists, ophthalmologists, paediatricians, paediatric surgeons, plastic surgeons, orthopaedic surgeons, hand and micrographic surgeons, otolaryngologists, haematologists and allied health colleagues (physiotherapists, occupational therapists and medical social workers).