Management of venous malformations

Facial Plast Surg. 2012 Dec;28(6):603-10. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1329935. Epub 2012 Nov 27.


Venous malformations (VMs) frequently occur in the head and neck with a predilection for the parotid gland, submandibular triangle, buccal space, muscles of mastication, lips, and upper aerodigestive tract. They are composed of congenitally disrupted ectatic veins with inappropriate connections and tubular channels. Because VMs have poorly defined boundaries and a tendency to infiltrate normal tissue, they require calculated treatment decisions in the effort to preserve surrounding architecture. Sclerotherapy, surgical excision, neodymium:yttrium aluminum garnet laser therapy, or a combination of these modalities is employed in the management of VMs. Although many small VMs can be cured, the objective is often to control the disease with periodic therapy. Location, size, and proximity to vital structures dictate the type of therapy chosen. Vigilance with long-term follow up is important. This review outlines current diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to simple and extensive cervicofacial VMs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Head / blood supply
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy
  • Lasers, Solid-State / therapeutic use
  • Neck / blood supply
  • Sclerotherapy / methods
  • Skin / blood supply
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional
  • Vascular Malformations / diagnosis
  • Vascular Malformations / surgery
  • Vascular Malformations / therapy*
  • Veins / abnormalities*