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Direct percutaneous ethanol instillation for treatment of venous malformation in the face and neck

Chih-Hsien Lee, Shyi-Gen Chen
British Journal of Plastic Surgery 2005, 58 (8): 1073-8
Venous malformations of the face and neck involve multiple anatomical spaces and encase critical neuromuscular structures, making surgical treatment difficult; high recurrence rates and high morbidity are well documented. Various methods of treatment of uncertain value and risk of complications have been advocated. We present our experience in treating five patients with venous malformation in the face and neck by using direct percutaneous ethanol sclerotherapy. Four patients had large lesions (> or = 3 cm; one patient had two large lesions in the low eyelid), and the other had a mid-sized lesion (1.5-3 cm). Under general or local anaesthesia, one-third to one-quarter cavity volume of ethanol was injected percutaneously, directly into the malformation with under fluoroscopy [de Lorimier AA. Sclerotherapy for venous malformations. J Pediatr Surg 1995;30:188-93; Johnson PL, Eckard DA, Brecheisen MA, Girod DA, Tsue TT. Percutaneous ethanol sclerotherapy of venous malformations of the tongue. Am J Neuroradiol 2002;23:779-82; Pappas DC Jr, Persky MS, Berenstein A. Evaluation and treatment of head and neck venous vascular malformations. Ear Nose Throat J 1998;77:914-22; Lee CH, Chen SG. Direct percutaneous ethanol sclerotherapy for treatment of a recurrent venous malformation in the periorbital region. ANZ J Surg. 2004;74(12):1126-7.]. Four patients required two injections. All patients had remission and alleviation of their symptoms, with no major complications. Direct percutaneous injection of absolute ethanol provides a simple and reliable alternative treatment for venous malformation in the face and neck.

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