Intralesional laser therapy for vascular malformations

Ann Plast Surg. 2014 Nov;73(5):547-51. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e318276daa6.


Intralesional laser therapy for the treatment of vascular malformations (VMs) has been previously reported for select patient populations. Larger studies, over a wider variety of indications, are needed to better define the potential role of this technology. In the current study, a 12-year, retrospective review of 44 patients who underwent 73 intralesional Nd:YAG or diode laser treatments of VMs was performed. The most commonly encountered lesions were venous malformations (66%) and the most commonly involved anatomic locations were the head and neck regions (41%) and lower extremity (39%). Primary indications for treatment were enlargement (73%) and pain (52%). Lesion size was reduced in 94% of cases after treatment and pain was improved in 91% of cases. Minor postoperative complications occurred in 16 (36%) patients. There was no difference in treatment response among various VM subtypes or anatomic locations (P=0.497, P=0.866) or in the incidence of complications (P=0.531, P=0.348). Age was the only factor associated with an increased risk of complications (odds ratio, 1.034; P=0.038). When used in accordance with the suggested guidelines, intralesional laser therapy is a safe and effective treatment modality for VMs of varying compositions and locations.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lasers, Semiconductor / therapeutic use*
  • Lasers, Solid-State / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Malformations / surgery*