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Venous malformations specifically impact blood vessels, resulting in abnormal blood flow. The normal function of a blood vessel involves muscle cells which ensure that the vessel remains in shape, allowing it to enlarge when needed in order to control blood pressure. This function is not present in venous malformations, so blood flow is not being correctly regulated. Clots are not uncommon in venous malformation and can eventually lead to damage occurring in the vessel wall.

You can identify these vascular malformations as they appear like lumps under the skin that are blue in color. Although venous malformations are congenital, they may not be detected until later in childhood. An increase in blood flow will cause venous malformations to become more apparent, which is why most parents are not aware of a problem until they witness the lumps when the child is engaged in activities which result in increased blood flow.

The size of venous malformations is typically proportionate to the child’s growth. However, they are also more prominent in children when they gain weight or the malformation suffers some sort of trauma. Common examples of traumatic events include the onset of puberty, hormonal changes caused by contraceptive medications or during pregnancy.

Specialist Diagnosis

Appearance or behavior alone is not enough to provide a diagnosis. The Vascular Birthmark Center will use specialist tools such as imaging equipment to confirm your child’s diagnosis before recommending any treatment options. An ultrasound scan is also useful in examining blood flow and identifying the presence of any clotting. In cases where there are major concerns for the general health of the child, an MRI may be required to determine the location and severity of venous malformations.

Venous Malformation Treatment

Effective venous malformation treatment requires a cooperative effort from a team of qualified specialists. At the Vascular Birthmark Center, the team is led by Dr. Greg Levitin, with each member bringing unique skills and insight to the table. In many cases, we may simply recommend an evaluation plan for your child, whereby he or she attends our offices regularly to monitor the venous malformations.

Medical treatment is an option to prevent complications arising from blood clots or a controlled dose of heparin is used to dissolve any clots that have already formed. Regular blood testing is part of any treatment plan in order to closely manage medications. Sclerotherapy as a treatment option is carried out by a radiologist, with the aim of shrinking blood vessels using a specifically designed substance. This procedure is performed under anesthesia to ensure your child’s safety and comfort.

If your child is suffering from smaller venous malformations that are on or close to the surface, targeted laser therapy is recommended for long lasting relief. The Vascular Birthmark Center also offers endovenous laser treatment to address venous malformations that are harder to reach. The normal risks of facial nerve damage associated with treatment are also reduced to less than 1% with Dr. Greg Levitin.

To explore these treatment options and more, reach out to the Vascular Birthmark Center today for a more comprehensive evaluation.

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Our Patient Reviews

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.