Venous malformations can occur anywhere on the body and are low flow lesions. They usually present as a bluish swelling which is worse when the area is dependant, but improves on elevation. Depending on the location and extent they may range from being asymptomatic to a cosmetic concern to causing some pain or dysfunction.
Lymphatic malformations are a collection of abnormally developed lymphatic vessels that contain lymph fluid (as opposed to blood in other vascular malformations). Lymph fluid is clear or yellowish. These lesions most commonly occur on the head or neck but may occur anywhere on the body.
They will not regress without treatment and multiple surgical intervention are usually needed.
Arteriovenous malformations are connections between veins and arteries – thus a malformation of blood vessels, but they have the added physiological difficulty of having high flow within them which makes them a higher risk for complications. They generally need more aggressive intervention than other malformations as they may result in growth of tissue in their proximity, bleeding or clotting complications and sometimes even cardiac failure.
Capillary Venous Malformations
Capillary malformations are from the tiny capillary vessels that form abnormally and present like birthmarks or blotchy patches on the skin that can occur anywhere on the body. They are also known as ‘Port Wine Stains’.
They are not haemangiomas. Capillary Venous Malformations grow as the patient grows and can often become darker with time. The deeper veins need to be assessed as sometimes these can be affected in addition to the superficial ones and Capillary Venous Malformations may be associated with some syndromes where lymphatics are involved in the malformation as well.