Understanding Your Vascular Malformation Diagnosis

May 03, 2024
Understanding Your Vascular Malformation Diagnosis
A vascular malformation diagnosis can feel daunting, but there’s plentiful hope to be had. The right treatment can reduce your symptoms while protecting you from complications. 

In simple terms, vascular malformation is the abnormal formation of blood vessels. If you have one, you were probably born with it. Your diagnosis likely came much later, however, given that particular events, like an injury, major surgery, adolescence, or pregnancy, usually trigger symptoms. 

While vascular malformations aren’t considered common, they aren’t unheard of, affecting at least 1 in every 100 people. Thankfully, appropriate treatment can minimize any bothersome symptoms you experience.

At his Midtown Manhattan practice, double board-certified vascular and interventional radiologist Dr. Yosef Golowa uses his subspecialized training in treating vascular malformations to help patients find the relief they need without major surgery.

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with vascular malformation, we want you to learn more about the condition, including what to expect from our minimally invasive treatments.

Vascular malformation basics

Vascular malformations can form in almost any large artery and veins or smaller vessels known as arterioles and venules. They sometimes develop in capillaries or channels that carry white blood cells and lymphatic fluid out of your arteries and veins, too. The affected blood vessels become engorged, causing organs that they’re linked to — to lack nutrients and oxygen.

Chances are you were diagnosed with a vascular malformation through a physical exam or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. 

Vascular malformation symptoms

Vascular malformation affects people differently. When symptoms or complications arise, they might include:

  • Minor aches and pains
  • Recurrent bleeding
  • Clotting disorders
  • Damage within your bones, joints, and skeletal muscles
  • Heart or other organ damage, in severe cases

Having a proper diagnosis is a very positive thing, as numerous treatments are available. 

Vascular malformation treatment

Dr. Golowa customizes vascular malformation treatment based on the specifics of your condition. Conservative care might involve compression garments, such as socks, that ease pain and swelling and guard against complications. 

Dr. Golowa also offers endovascular laser treatment and sclerotherapy for vascular malformation. During the laser treatment, he places a laser fiber into the affected blood vessel. The fiber heats the tissue, causing the vessel to collapse and break down. 

During sclerotherapy, an irritant chemical is placed into the blood vessel through an injected foam or liquid. This causes its destruction, too. With both treatments, your body absorbs the collapsed blood vessels, and nearby healthier ones take the blood flow over.

While vascular malformation treatments don’t cure the condition, you can expect significantly reduced symptoms and a much lower risk for serious complications.

To learn more about vascular malformation or get the support or treatment you need, call our office or book an appointment with Dr. Golowa through our website today.