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Areas of Care

Vascular Anomalies Clinic

About us

The Vascular Anomalies Clinic is one of the largest of its kind in Canada. It provides multi-professional care to children with vascular malformations.  The clinic also sees patients with selected vascular tumours, such as hemangiomas that require surgical or radiological treatment.  Most children with vascular tumours are cared for by the Vascular Tumour Service at the Dermatology Clinic.  

This clinic sees patients from birth up to 18 years of age. Babies before birth with vascular anomalies are referred to the Vascular Anomalies Clinic from the fetal medicine program at Mount Sanai Hospital in Toronto. For patients above 18 years of age there are specialist adult clinics within the University Health Network (see below).

To be seen at the Vascular Anomalies Clinic you will need a referral from your family physician, paediatrician or a medical specialist.  Visit the Ambulatory Clinics page for a referral form and more information.

The Vascular Anomalies Clinic at Sickkids is part of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the Department of Diagnostic Imaging at SickKids.  As part of your care we may ask you to visit other clinics at SickKids such as Dermatology, Clinical Genetics, Orthopaedics and Haematology (Thrombosis).  This will enable the team at the Vascular Anomalies Clinic to fully assess the condition.  Investigations such as blood tests, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and/or ultrasound scans may be required.

Contact us

Clinic appointments: 416-813-6013 ext.2
Clinic fax: 416-813-5542
Clinic nurse: julie.zettel@sickkids.ca, 416-813-4970
For patient referrals: https://www.sickkids.ca/AmbulatoryClinics/index.html

Clinic/registration location

The Vascular Anomalies Clinic is part of the Plastic Surgery Clinic, located on the Main Floor, near the Black Wing elevators. From the University Avenue entrance, walk in, turn left and you will see Shoppers Drug Mart. Turn right past the Black Wing elevators and turn down the first hallway to your left. Registration for our clinic is in room M465.

When you register, a SickKids identification (ID) band will be placed on your child. The band must be worn on your child's arm or ankle at all times. Check your child's ID band to make sure the information is correct. If your child is not wearing a band or has the wrong one, it can lead to errors that can result in the wrong care for your child. Staff must always check the band before providing care to your child. Your child must keep the band on at all times while at SickKids.

If you or your child are sick before your appointment

Call the clinic if you or your child have had a cold, cough, diarrhea, fever or rash within two days of your appointment, or have been sick with or exposed to chicken pox in the last three weeks. Your appointment may need to be rescheduled. 

Tell the clerk, nurse or doctor if your child has been in a hospital outside of Canada within the last 12 months. 

If you cannot come to your child’s appointment, it is important that you call the clinic as soon as possible to cancel and reschedule.

Be on time

Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment and sign in at the registration desk in room M465.

If you are late, you may have to wait for other patients to be seen first. Allow lots of time to get to the hospital. It can take some time to get used to finding your way around and it is important to be on time for your child’s appointment. Staff will try to see your child as close to your appointment time as possible. Please understand that some patients being seen ahead of you may need more time than expected, and this can cause delay for others.

Bring the following

  • You must show valid health-care coverage at every visit. If you do not, you will be required to pay a fee for the visit, unless coverage or insurance can be verified.

Proof of health-care coverage must be valid at the time of visit (not expired).

    • If you live in Ontario, show your child’s valid Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card.
    • If you live in another province, show your child’s provincial health-care card.
    • If you are a refugee claimant, show your child’s Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) certificate.
    • If you have private health insurance, show the appropriate information or documentation.
    • If you are receiving support from a Community Health Centre (CHC), show a letter from the CHC.
  • Your appointment card or letter
  • Toys, books, nut-free snacks, diapers and formula to keep your child comfortable and occupied in case there is a wait
  • Any medical information, such as referral letters, test results, information about current therapies, X-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds or CT scans
  • All medications your child is currently taking (in original packaging), including alternative and complementary treatments
  • Any medical information, such as referral letters, test results, information about current therapies, X-rays, CT and MRI scans.
  • On arrival, please hand in any scans you have brought with you to the clinic main desk.

Try not to bring other children to the appointment

If other children must come, please consider taking them to the Play Park during your visit. The Play Park is a free, fun and safe place for brothers and sisters of patients to play. It is open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from 11:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. It is located on the Main Floor of the Atrium, next to the parking elevators. All children over 2 ½ years of age are welcome. Trained staff and volunteers will watch your children carefully. You do not need to book in advance to use the Play Park. The Play Park number is 416-813-8884.

Latex allergy

Call the clinic before coming to the hospital if your child or anyone coming with them has a known or suspected allergy to latex.

Accessibility

All visitor entrances on the Main Floor are wheelchair accessible. SickKids has several wheelchair-accessible washrooms on the Main Floor. Both male and female washrooms in the Atrium have large change tables where children and teens can have diapers changed. There is another private wheelchair-accessible washroom with a large change table on the Service Floor of the Black Wing in Room S213, across the hall from Rehabilitation Services. Wheelchairs are available near the Atrium and University Avenue entrances.

Assistance dogs for children or parents with disabilities are allowed at SickKids. Please make sure they are clean and have up-to-date immunizations.

Interpreter Services

If you need an interpreter, please call the clinic before your appointment so we can arrange for an interpreter. There is no charge for an interpreter. Please give us at least 24 to 48 hours' notice to make it easier for us to find an interpreter for you.

What to expect during your visit

During your first visit to the Vascular Anomalies Clinic your family will consult with one of our physicians to discuss your diagnosis and possible treatment options if necessary. Procedures and most scans will not be performed at the initial visit. You will also meet the Vascular Anomalies Clinic nurse.  

As SickKids is a teaching hospital, your child may be examined by either a resident or fellow before seeing the staff physician.

With family-centered care as an essential component of our multi-professional team approach, your visit at the Vascular Anomalies Clinic may also involve our team of plastic surgeons, the haematologist, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. A social worker can be consulted on an individual basis.  

To make your experience at SickKids a positive one, a Child Life Specialist may also be involved in your visit to provide therapeutic play programs designed to reduce stress, help patients cope with hospitalization, and prepare children for medical and surgical procedures.

Care of patients above 18 years of age

Patients who are over 18 years of age who have a vascular malformation are referred to dedicated Vascular Malformations Clinics at Toronto General Hospital or Toronto Western Hospital. These multi-professional clinics provide care for adult patients who are either transitioning from care at SickKids or seeing new referrals. The clinic at Toronto General Hospital is the only dedicated clinic for adults with peripheral vascular malformations in Canada.

Contact details for adult clinics:

For peripheral vascular malformations (ie. Affecting the body outside the head, neck, brain and spine) contact:
pam.purdy@uhn.ca

For neurovascular malformations (ie. Affecting the head, neck, brain and/or spine contact:
gail.nixon@uhn.ca

If your child has been seen through our clinic we will put you directly in contact with one of the adult clinics after your final visit here and ensure a seamless transition.

Additional Resources

Read an overview about vascular anomalies.

See a list of additional resources pertaining to vascular anomalies.

Learn more about the multi-professional Vascular Anomalies Clinic team.