What is venous malformation?

Venous malformations are congenital errors in vascular development, resulting in inappropriate connections of veins. The veins also have less structural support than normal veins. The network of veins functions more as a balloon, causing swelling, slow blood flow and painful blood clots.

What are the signs and symptoms of venous malformation?

Venous malformations vary in color from blue to dark purple, depending on how deep the malformation extends and can be very localized or more diffuse. The cheek, jaw, lips and mouth are common areas for venous malformations. They tend to swell with activity/exercise or if the malformation is in the dependent position (i.e. when lying down). The mass is usually soft and compressible and then refills when released. There may be small hard masses palpable in the malformation. These are called phleboliths and are small collections of calcium that have resulted from slow blood flow and blood clots.

How are venous malformations treated?

Your care team at Arkansas Children's is experienced in treating venous malformations, and will work with you to create the best treatment plan for your child. Treatment options include: 

  • Surgical options like sclerotherapy or surgical resection
  • Medications like blood thinners to help with clotting


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