A vascular malformation is an irregular connection between blood vessels. This may occur with arteries and veins, between capillaries, or between vessels that carry lymphatic fluid. Symptoms sometimes include a soft bump on the skin, swelling, pain, or redness that may resemble a birthmark. Vascular malformations are often diagnosed using MRI.
Vascular malformations can be treated using stereotactic radiosurgery or minimally invasive techniques such as embolization. Embolization is used to block off or close the vessels in the malformation. Embolization involves advancing a small tube (catheter) into a vessel in the groin and then advanced to the problematic area. Once in place, coils, particles, or liquids are inserted into the malformation blocking off the flow of blood.