You have likely heard of port-wine stains (PWS). They are given this name because of their resemblance to a spillage of red or purple colored wine. However, what most people do not realize is that port-wine stains are associated with a number of different vascular malformations, each with its own symptoms and potential health complications. There is no standard removal option for this type of vascular malformation, as any procedure must follow an assessment of the individual patient’s needs.
Additionally, multiple treatments are often required to remove port-wine stains in conjunction with treatment for any associated vascular malfunction. Seeking treatment alone can prove complex, leaving many patients feeling frustrated with nowhere else to turn. At the Vascular Birthmark Center, we provide diagnosis and treatment for vascular birthmark/malformations and removal of port-wine stains using a combination of methods.
Port-Wine Stain Laser Treatment and Removal
Without a consultation, it is commonly expected that pulsed dye laser will play a large part in your treatment plan. The location, size, color, and severity of port-wine stains, along with any associated complications, will all factor into the decision-making process of the Vascular Birthmark Center team.
What we can say with certainty is that Dr. Greg Levitin uses advanced diagnostic and treatment techniques, including an intraoperative nerve monitoring system that reduces the potential risk of nerve damage to below 1% when port-wine stains are located on the face or neck. Many centers effectively rely on a “best guess” approach, which depends on the doctor’s level of experience and relevant qualifications. Many parents do not pursue treatment for children because they have been informed of a high-risk factor of a 50% chance of nerve damage.
Surgical Therapy for PWS Tissue Overgrowth
Surgery, in order to debulk the stains, can also be an option that Dr. Greg Levitin recommends for removing port-wine stains when laser therapy alone is likely to prove inefficient. Larger port-wine stains present greater challenges. It is important that you fully understand the procedures involved, versus the potential outcomes, before deciding which removal options are going to provide your child with the most benefits.
Parent and Child Support
Dr. Levitin and his team fully support parents and children in pursuing the effective removal of port-wine stain malformations. The Vascular Birthmark Center has a close relationship with the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation (VBF), with both parties working together to ensure patients are fully informed and understand their diagnosis and treatment options before committing to laser therapy or surgery.
If your child’s port-wine stains are a small part of another vascular malformation, he or she may need other specialist treatment that is not available from our centers. However, it is our aim to ensure that all treatments are carried out in conjunction to minimize both the physical and psychological impact on the child. Contact the Vascular Birthmark Center today.