Gentle ND:YAG Laser Therapy in the Treatment of Cutaneous Venous Malformations

Facial Plast Surg Aesthet Med. 2021 Jul-Aug;23(4):289-293. doi: 10.1089/fpsam.2020.0268. Epub 2020 Aug 26.


Background: Venous malformations (VMs) are congenital vascular malformations that grow progressively and never resolve on their own. Cutaneous VMs are difficult to treat due to risk of injury and deformation. The purpose of this study was to examine the safety and efficacy of a modified neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet laser (Gentle YAG) in the management of cutaneous VMs. Methods: Retrospective chart review of patients undergoing Gentle YAG therapy for cutaneous VMs and a blind prospective evaluation of photographs, performed by 10 reviewers, before and after treatment for growth, stability, improvement, or resolution of VMs. Results: Forty-five patients (18 males and 27 females) who underwent Gentle YAG therapy for a cutaneous VM were identified. Based on photographic review, Gentle YAG therapy elicited improvement in the appearance of VMs in 72% of the patients, χ2 (1, N = 45) = 25.94, p < 0.0001, with reviewers noting complete resolution in 8.2%, significant improvement in 34.5%, some improvement in 29.3%, and no growth or improvement in 20.9% of patients. Growth of the VM was noted in 7.3% of patients. Three (6.7%) patients reported complications from the treatment, which included infection, bleeding, blister, and color change. Four patients (8.9%) reported pretreatment pain, which resolved in three (75.0%) after treatment. Conclusions: Gentle YAG therapy can provide safe and effective treatment for cutaneous VMs and should be considered in the multimodal management of VMs.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dermatologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lasers, Solid-State / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Photography
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Skin / blood supply*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Malformations / surgery*
  • Veins / abnormalities*
  • Veins / surgery
  • Young Adult