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Treatment of Congenital Vascular Malformations

Congenital vascular malformations are disorders of the blood vessels that a person is born with. They may be merely cosmetic abnormalities of the skin which cause no harm to the patient. But more serious types of vascular malformations can occur internally and require treatment. These abnormal tangles of arteries and veins can cause pain and bleeding, and may deprive normal tissues of their blood supply.

Interventional radiologists employ a minimally invasive method called "embolization," which effectively shuts down the flow of blood to vascular malformations. Guided by x-ray, the doctor inserts a catheter into the artery feeding the malformation. Special medical adhesives, microspheres, or alcohol then flow through the catheter into the artery, filling the vessels and blocking the flow of blood. The malformation then shrinks and no longer becomes a threat to the patient. The patient can usually go home after staying in the hospital overnight.

Other Resources at NYU

NYU Medical Center is renowned worldwide as a center of excellence for treating all types of hemangiomas and congenital vascular malformations. For additional information, visit these sites:

The Hemangioma and Vascular Malformations Clinical Division

Stephen D. Hassenfeld Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders