At The Plastic Surgery Group, our plastic surgeons are experienced in a variety of techniques for safe and effective treatment of vascular lesions and birthmarks. Our Albany patients often experience relief and increased self-confidence once their concerns are resolved.
TYPES OF VASCULAR LESIONS & BIRTHMARKS
At The Plastic Surgery Group we can fade or even completely correct many common vascular birthmarks and lesions including hemangiomas, telangiectasia, and cherry angiomas.
Hemangiomas (port wine stains, strawberry nevus, red, pink or blue birthmarks) are blood vessel malformations that occur during fetal development. They are the most common vascular tumor of infancy and childhood and the most frequent congenital anomaly. They affect upwards of 5% of newborns and yet only about half are evident at birth. However, almost all mark their presence within the first year of life and are best treated early. More than 50% of all hemangiomas occur on the head and neck region. Ten to 15% of patients exhibit multiple lesions and there is a 5:1 ratio of male to female preference.
Telangiectasia is a diffuse pattern of spider veins and/or "flush" appearance to the overlying skin. This can also give a blotchy appearance with skipped areas.
Cherry angiomas are bright red, purple, or magenta spots that can occur anywhere but most commonly on the torso. They are usually seen in older patients and may be the result of a weakness in the blood vessel walls causing a small bubble or hernia in the wall of the vessel.
MANAGEMENT & TREATMENT
We offer a variety of options for treating and managing vascular lesions and birthmarks. Your physician will determine which will be most effective for you during your consultation.
We possess a wide variety of lasers that address these imperfections based on their color, size, and thickness. Our lasers, including the Vbeam® laser that is also used for vein treatment, work effectively and are relatively painless. The laser works by emitting an energy beam of light at a preselected frequency and power (much like selecting various radio channels). This energy coagulates the blood in the vessels while preserving the overlying skin. Eventually, the abnormal vessels cease to function and disintegrate.
Because laser energy generates heat, our state-of-the-art lasers are adapted to emit a cool mist during treatment to minimize any discomfort. The number of treatments varies depending on the size and thickness of the lesion. The treatment may occasionally cause temporary skin blistering and discoloration. Treatments can be scheduled approximately 4 to 8 weeks apart. This gives the tissue adequate time to heal and to absorb the treated blood vessels. The patients might not see the effects of treatment for several weeks. The pre- operative visual consultation is extremely important in order to customize your treatment plan.
These are solutions that are injected directly into the offending vessels. When used in specific cases, these products irritate the blood vessel lining while rupturing the blood cells themselves. Eventually the treated vessel will be eradicated.
Some lesions may be amenable to direct surgical removal either because of their size and/or location.
Certain infant blood vessel anomalies can be significantly decreased in size with the judicial use of these substances. They are usually used in combination with the previous mentioned therapies and work to temporarily, but rapidly, reduce the size of the lesion.