Treating Vascular Malformations
Embolization and sclerotherapy performed as minimally invasive procedures
Vascular malformations are irregularly formed veins, arteries, or lymph vessels.
Sometimes the irregularity is that two vessels that shouldn’t be connected are, causing irregular blood flow, blood pooling, and potentially pain and swelling.
While vascular malformations close to the skin can often be visualized as a lump, bump, or discoloration, those that are deeper in the body can be seen with MRI imaging.
Interventional radiologists are often consulted on the use of minimally invasive image-guided procedures to treat vascular malformations.
The interventional radiologist may choose to embolize the vascular malformation.
To do this, a catheter is inserted into the patient’s artery and steered to the abnormality.
The physician then injects embolic agents to block blood flow through the abnormality.
Blood is re-directed around the problem site and symptoms of the vascular malformation are alleviated.
Sclerotherapy is a similar approach to embolization, as the interventional radiologist steers a catheter to the vascular malformation site.
However, rather than injecting embolic agents, a medicine is injected that causes the abnormal vessels to shrink.
As the vessel shrinks, it is ultimately closed off from blood flow and blood is re-directed around the abnormality.