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Image Guided Therapy
Image Guided Therapy

Vascular Anomaly Program

What are “Vascular Anomalies”?

Vascular Anomalies are vascular birthmarks. They can result from an abnormal development of “vascular channels” (some of which are blood vessels) in the first few weeks of fetal life, resulting in a so-called “vascular malformation” which persists throughout life. Vascular anomalies may also be due to tumour-like conditions, the majority of which appear shortly after birth and are known as infantile hemangiomas, many slowly disappearing by early childhood. There are different types of vascular malformations and vascular tumours. Some vascular malformations are complex and associated with other abnormalities such as abnormalities of body growth. The majority of vascular anomalies do not threaten life however many cause problems that require treatment. Vascular malformations and vascular tumours may look similar and therefore when a patient is first seen, it is important to make a correct diagnosis before any treatment is started, as treatments differ depending on the specific type of vascular anomaly. Most vascular anomalies are not life-threatening to patients, however many cause problems that can be helped by modern treatments. For more information on vascular anomalies click here

At the Hospital for Sick Children, patients with vascular tumours are cared for in the Dermatology Clinic. The Vascular Anomalies Clinic treats all patients with vascular malformations and also patients with vascular tumours who may require plastic surgery.

What is IGT’s role?

Many children with vascular malformations are treated by interventional radiological procedures, which are carried out in IGT. Our interventional radiologists from IGT lead the Vascular Anomalies Clinic team. They perform the important interventional radiological procedures such as sclerotherapy, embolization and endovenous laser needed to treat some patients with vascular malformations. Many patients with vascular malformations will benefit from these minimally invasive treatments.