Practical Considerations in the Treatment of Capillary Vascular Malformations, or Port-Wine Stains
“Practical Considerations in the Treatment of Capillary Vascular Malformations, or Port-Wine Stains”, Samuel M. Lam, M.D., Williams EF 3rd., Facial Plastic Surgery February 2004 (20)71-76
Port wine stains (PWSs) represent the most common type of vascular malformation. With the advent of pulsed-dye laser therapy, treatment of these lesions has become achievable with minimal prospect of adverse scarring. Although many scientific articles have heralded the favorable outcomes in patients who have undergone pulsed-dye laser treatments, few articles address the practical considerations (pre-, intra-, and postoperative) that must be followed to ensure success. This article presents the 10-year experience of the senior author (EFW) in the management of port wine malformations and the clinical insights that have been gleaned from that extensive experience. Introductory remarks are made as to the nature of PWSs, related syndromes, and the evolution of treatment; practical management guidelines are then discussed.
Pulsed-dye laser therapy for PWS is a safe and effective treatment that may lighten but not eliminate the stigma of the hyperpigmented lesion. Due to the paucity of practical treatment information that exists in the literature, we have endeavored to provide a succinct, but comprehensive, management outline that addresses pertinent pre-, intra-, and postoperative care for the PWS patient so as to maximize benefit and minimize morbidity.
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