Condition – Vascular malformations

Vascular malformations

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Vascular Malformations occur when blood vessels do not form properly. They occur congenitally or from trauma and can affect any part of the body.

When the malformation is venous (low flow) and is associated with leg varicose veins and a birth mark it is often part of the Klipple Trenaunay group of malformations.

There are several complications of  such malformations such as pain, ulceration, disfigurement, swelling  and  pulmonary embolus

A vascular duplex ultrasound will determining if the malformation has a high flow component (an arterial pulse) or is a low flow (venous) malformation.

An MRI will determine the extent of the malformation as  shown in this MRI of a venous malformation of the thigh bone area and one of the groin

Management usually involves keeping any swelling controlled with support stockings or bandages.

Occasionally a sclerosing agent can be injected into the low flow malformation. As this can be uncomfortable it is usually done under general anesthetic. It is best to undertake this in specialist centres and often more than one session is needed.

Firstly the venous lakes of the malformation are isolated on ultrasound and the sclerosing agent is made into a foam

Several fine needles are placed into the venous malformation and the  sclerosant injected. The bubbles in the sclerosant mark the position of the area treated on ulrasound.

On completion the treated area is compressed with bandages


Daryll Baker is a Consultant Vascular Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital London and Clinical Lead for North Central Region Vascular Services.

He read Medicine at Oxford University and trained in Vascular Surgery in Nottingham, London and Edinburgh. He obtained his research PhD from the University of Wales.


Wellington Hospital
34 Circus Road

07934 072213

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