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The lymphatic system is an important part of our immune system. It is a complex network of tubes that transport a watery fluid called lymph throughout the body. Lymph passes through a network of lymph nodes that help the body remove sources of infection. Clusters of lymph nodes are found throughout the body, primarily in the neck, under both arms, at the elbows, in the chest, abdomen and groin.

Lymphatic malformations are non-malignant masses of fluid, that appear as spongy, soft balloons of tissue. These malformations are rare and usually present anywhere from birth to two years old. They can develop anywhere on the body, but are most commonly seen on the neck and head. Some lymphatic malformations can be quite large, but regardless of their size, they have the potential of causing functional impairment and disfigurement.

Symptoms and Treatment of Lymphatic Malformations

Initial symptoms of lymphatic malformations can vary depending on the type, but the most common are bubble-like masses that grow slowly as the child grows. Growth is typically slow, but certain factors can speed growth, such as hemorrhaging into the malformation. Another common symptom is a slight but growing impairment in a nearby organ or system, due to the malformation putting pressure on nerves or other tissues.

Treating lymphatic malformations is handled in a variety of ways, including laser therapy, surgery, radiofrequency ablation and percutaneous drainage, or even a combination of these treatments. When exploring treatment options, age of the child, the size of the malformation and its location, symptoms and the child’s overall health are important considerations. Only a qualified and highly-experienced specialist can make a proper diagnosis and design a treatment plan.

Experienced and Compassionate Treatment for Your Child

Dr. Gregory Levitin of the Vascular Birthmark Center is a board-certified Otolaryngologist-Head and Neck Surgeon and a Fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Levitin knows the pain of having a child who needs treatment for a serious malformation firsthand. One of his twin daughters was diagnosed with a large hemangioma that required medical and laser therapy, and ultimately surgical treatment. He knows the anxiety you feel as a parent.

Dr. Levitin will work closely with each patient and their parents to design and implement a customized treatment strategy that combines the safest and most effective techniques. He believes in using the most minimally invasive techniques possible as a first resort. During your child’s examination and his consultation with you, Dr. Levitin will explain your child’s condition along with all the risks and benefits of any proposed treatment options.

For more information about the diagnosis and treatment of lymphatic malformations, contact the Vascular Birthmark Center today to schedule an appointment at either of our locations.

Posted on behalf of The Vascular Birthmark Center

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Our Patient Reviews
The Vascular Birthmark Center: Gregory M. Levitin, MD

4.8 / 5.0

Based on 27 reviews

Abril M.

Dr. Levitin is very knowledgeable, compassionate and professional. Five years ago, I needed to find information about a birth mark that my newborn daughter started to grow a couple days after birth. I was afraid, I did not feel like I got any clear information about it through my insurance; also, they did not offer any course of treatment for it. I started to look for information, the birthmark was growing each day, information was scarce and I just got more scared. Finally, I found a video in Youtube from a grandmother who was very grateful after finding treatment for her grand daughter through The Birthmark Foundation. It was a huge blessing to me and my family. I found Dr. Levitin, I contacted him thinking he probably would not even answer. I was wrong, he kindly answered promptly, got in touch with me and soon he had a plan : ) I went to see him at the Birthmark Center in Los Angeles. He explained everything in a way that it was so clear to understand, no question I made was insignificant and his answers were each very informative. I really never have had an experience with a doctor who explains and speaks in such a way. I left his office knowing that my daughter was in the best hands and the best care. I first thank God for the Birthmark Foundation, a great organization with the highest quality of doctors. Also, a very special thanks to Dr. Levitin for all his help and kindness, for listening to my concerns and answering each and every question. And last, but no least, to the Birthmark Foundation Center in Los Angeles : ) I hope many children can find help/care in this place as I found it for my daughter. Thank you forever.

Ryan E.

I will be telling tales of the good doctors compassion till time comes to an end. Because of Dr Levitin, I have more confidence in my every day life. He was fast, knowledgeable, precise and all with a disarming sense of humor. Two thumbs up!

Carla M.

I wanted to show you how much better Hailey's tongue looks and let you know her speech has already improved so much!!! Her speech teacher is thrilled!!!! Thank you so much for everything you did for her. You are an excellent surgeon with a great bedside manner- we are forever grateful to you!!! We are so appreciative!

Danielle L.

we are forever grateful for Dr. Levitin. My daughter Lena had surgery to remove her hemangioma that was located on her forehead at just 6 month old. she healed beautifully and we couldn't be happier with how minimal her scar is, even almost 4.5 years later. Dr. Levitin is caring, compassionate, and such a great doctor/surgeon overall. He had our daughter's best interest and I knew she was in good hands. I highly recommend him any chance I get!

Chris

My name is Chris and I was recently treated for an AVM on my forehead by Dr. Gregory Levitin of New York (New York Eye and Ear Infirmary). Thankfully, I live within a few hours of NYC. In brief, I would like to say that Dr. Levitin is very capable doctor with a lot of experience with AVMs. He responds quickly to e-mail, texts, and phone calls. He accepts insurance. He takes a "team approach" and will be your "QB" and involve other specialists as necessary. In my particular case they were Dr. Raj Shrivastava (Mt Sinai) and Dr. Raphael A. Ortiz (Lenox Hill) in NY. I recommend contacting Dr Levitin for a consultation if you suspect you have an AVM. All 3 Drs are just good people. When I spoke to them, they treated me like like an equal. I felt like they were advising me as a close friend or family member. Like many that suffer with AVMs I was at first mis-diagnosed. What was thought to be a just a simple cyst turned out to be an AVM. Surgery to remove the cyst made the AVM about 5x bigger. My treatment entailed a few MRIs and CAT scans to determine what was going on and the treatment plan. This was followed by consultation with the 3 Drs mentioned above and finally a 2-day procedure. On day 1 Dr Ortiz embolized the AVM. On day 2 Dr Levitin and Dr Shrivastava removed the AVM from my skull and put some metal mesh there to fill the "hole". It has been 6-months since the surgery and so far I have not had any recurrence. In honor of Vascular Birthmark Awareness Day and to thank these Drs for all they have done for me, I just want to give everyone a solid reference. Finding the right doctor for this type of stuff makes all the difference.

Valle S.

I just discovered this page i have also a birthmark I always experiences bully because of this. I don't know what kind of birthmark is this if it is harmful ? I hope Dr. Levitin notice this message in this way I think he can help me :) :) #DrLevitin

Alicia M.

This year marks the 10th that I contacted VBF for help. Since then I have been under the care of Dr. G Levitin and Dr. R. Ortiz, they are my guardian healing angels! Thanks VBF for not only helping me but also for letting me be a volunteer in the foundation whenever I am needed. A Big Hug to all from MIAMI... Alicia

Alexander G.

Totally positive experience. Dr. Levitin is a great professional. He has diagnosed and treated my nose breathing problem, significantly improving my quality of life. Office staff is very professional. Appointments always kept on time. Strongly recommend.