Surgical treatment for venous malformation

Frederica Steiner, Trevor FitzJohn, Swee T Tan
Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery: JPRAS 2013, 66 (12): 1741-9
Sclerotherapy is generally the preferred treatment for venous malformation (VM) with surgery usually playing an adjunctive role. This study presents our experience with surgical treatment of VMs. Consecutive patients were identified from our vascular anomalies database 1996-2011 and patient demographics, location of the lesion, type of tissue(s) affected and symptoms were analysed. The patients completed a questionnaire to assess the impact of surgery on the severity of symptoms, appearance, function and overall quality of life (QoL), using a visual analogue scale of 0 (no symptom) to 10 (maximal symptom). They also rated their overall satisfaction of treatment using a scale of 0 (complete dissatisfaction) to 10 (complete satisfaction). Fifty patients with VM underwent a total of 58 procedures. Complication occurred in six patients (9.7% of operations), including transient sensory loss (n=3) and permanent frontal branch palsy (n=1), haematoma formation (n=1) and minor wound dehiscence (n=1). At least 50% improvement in symptoms of background pain, acute episodic pain, contour deformity and skin discolouration occurred in 88.9%, 92.3%, 83.3% and 75.0% of patients, respectively. At least 50% improvement in the appearance, function and overall QoL occurred in 54.3%, 71.4% and 70.4% of patients, respectively. The mean overall patient satisfaction with the treatment was 8.9 (range, 1-10). Surgery remains an important treatment modality for selected patients with VM having low complication rates and high patient satisfaction. It improves the appearance, function and overall QoL for the majority of the patients by reducing the severity of pain, contour deformity and skin discolouration.

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