Children's Hospital Entrance

Vascular Anomalies Center

Treatment for disfiguring vein disorders at Children’s Hospital New Orleans

The Children’s Hospital Vascular Anomalies Center (VAC) was founded in 2003 by Dr. Jeffrey Poole. This specialized clinic is a joint effort between the Dermatology and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Departments. Our goal is to treat and manage children with complex vascular disorders by providing state-of-the-art multidisciplinary evaluation and treatment for rare growths and malformations that affect blood vessels and lymphatics anywhere on the body. Our multidisciplinary team collaboratively assesses each patient and creates a custom treatment plan tailored to the patient’s specific and unique needs.

Types of Vascular Anomalies Treated:

  • All types of Vascular Malformations
  • Arteriovenous Malformations
  • Capillary Malformations (Port Wine Stains)
  • Congenital Hemangiomas
  • Infantile Hemangiomas
  • Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome
  • Lymphatic Malformations
  • Other Vascular Tumors
  • Sturge-Weber Syndrome
  • Venous Malformations

Available Treatment Options:

  • Oral Medicines – Oral medicines are the mainstay of treatment used for hemangiomas. Dr. Poole was one of the first physicians in the country with extensive experience in using propranolol for hemangiomas in infancy, which is now the standard of care.
  • Laser therapy – Laser therapy is the gold standard for the treatment of port-wine stains; it may further be used with some hemangiomas, lymphatic or venous malformations.
  • Sclerotherapy – This treatment is used to shrink venous and lymphatic malformations.
  • Surgery and complex reconstruction – Our team of plastic, head and neck (ENT), vascular and orthopedic surgeons are highly experienced in dealing with complicated vascular disorders and in working together to find the best solution.

Referrals

To be enrolled in our multidisciplinary conference, patients must first be evaluated by a team member. Patient medical information, physical examination and imaging studies are obtained by our physicians to improve diagnostic accuracy and conference efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a vascular anomaly?

    Vascular anomalies are either abnormal growths or malformations of development of any vascular tissue. Vascular tissue includes all types of blood vessels such as capillaries, arteries and veins, and a parallel "sewer system" called lymphatics. Common vascular anomalies include Hemangiomas (a growth of blood vessels in newborns), Port-Wine Stains (malformations of the capillaries, often on the face or limbs), Venous Malformations and Lymphatic Malformations. Children may experience a mixture of these malformations or health issues associated with them, such as the PHACES syndrome, Klippel-Trennauny, or Sturge-Weber. There are many other even rarer vascular growths and malformations. Because most physicians know very little about the evaluation and treatment of these conditions, we formed the Vascular Anomalies Center at Children's Hospital to help accurately diagnose and treat these disorders.

  • What is a "vascular malformation"?

    These are another type of birthmark, but are true malformations of arteries, veins, capillaries, or lymphatic vessels. These are present at birth, grow with the child, and do not regress as hemangiomas.

  • What causes vascular anomalies?

    The causes of vascular anomalies differ, with many being genetic and others having unknown reasons. They rarely are caused by anything you may have done, but instead are just abnormalities of growth and development that occur by chance.

  • Who gets vascular anomalies?

    Anyone can get vascular anomalies. They are normally present at birth or develop shortly after. Despite this, they may not become apparent or noticed until months or years later in some cases.

  • How is the correct diagnosis made?

    Early proper diagnosis is required to determine the appropriate treatment options. This requires detailed clinical history and examinations. MRI imaging remains the gold standard radiologic study for diagnostic confirmation.

  • What should parents expect?

    Each vascular anomaly is different, and many of these conditions are rare, unusual and difficult for most physicians to accurately diagnose and treat properly. That's why we formed the Vascular Anomalies Center at Children's Hospital New Orleans. Our team of experts includes specialists in Dermatology and Laser Surgery, ENT, Plastic Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery and Radiology. Our team all share a particular interest and expertise with these conditions. We further utilize specialists in other fields here at Children's Hospital, such as Hematology/Oncology, Ophthalmology, Cardiology, Genetics, Physical Therapy, and others if needed for a particular condition.

    Please have your physician refer you or your child to one of our Directors/Core Physicians (Dermatology, ENT, Plastic Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery or Vascular Surgery) for an initial evaluation prior to being seen by the entire team. This helps us ensure a more rapid evaluation and treatment. Labs studies may be necessary for our team to complete its evaluation.