Combined Surgery and Intraoperative Sclerotherapy for Vascular Malformations of the Head/Neck: The Hybrid Approach

Ann Plast Surg. 2018 Apr;80(4 Suppl 4):S156-S157. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000001366.


Vascular malformations (VMs) of the head and neck can lead to aesthetic problems as well as cranial nerve damage, airway compromise, and vision loss. Large VMs are typically managed surgically, with sclerotherapy or embolization performed in the perioperative period to decrease the risk of excessive blood loss and minimize the size of the VM. However, this initial treatment is frequently insufficient leading to excessive blood loss intraoperatively, poorer margin visualization for the surgeon, and decreased likelihood of complete resection. As a result, resections of large VMs are often performed in a multistage approach. This article introduces a new hybrid approach for the management of head and neck VMs entailing the use of an endovascular operating room where a neuroendovascular surgeon performs embolization or sclerotherapy intraoperatively as needed in conjunction with surgical excision. Three patients with large VMs in the facial region underwent successful use of the hybrid approach. The hybrid approach improved visualization, leading to complete resection in 1 patient and nearly complete resections (70% and 90%) in the other patients. The technique also helped minimize blood loss because only the youngest patient (23 months old) required a blood transfusion. Implications of these findings include the transition from a multistaged approach for large VMs to a single-stage approach. In addition, decreases in blood loss may allow for the development and use of minimal access techniques, leading to a decrease in visible scarring for patients. We suggest the consideration of the hybrid approach for large head and neck VMs.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Head
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intraoperative Care / methods*
  • Male
  • Neck
  • Sclerotherapy / methods*
  • Vascular Malformations / therapy*
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Young Adult