The 2-year-old baby was born with an extensive venous malformation on his face and neck. The defect spread to the windpipe causing speech difficulties and breathing disorders during sleep. The baby arrived at the ER short of breath and in danger. After stabilizing the child, the hospital invited the parents – who live in Ashdod – for a consultation at Shaare Zedek’s Vascular Anomalies Clinic, directed by Dr. Adam Farkas. There it was decided to perform an advanced procedure called Sclerotherapy, which involves injecting drugs directly into the defective blood cells. This shrinks the malformation.
Through the intervention of a multi-disciplinary team – which included ENT, vascular defects, pediatric pulmonology and pediatric anesthesia specialists, the baby underwent three injection treatments over three months. Today he is breathing freely and sleeps throughout the night without any breathing difficulties at all.
Venous malformation is a vascular defect that causes blood cells to grow abnormally. The defect usually develops in the mother’s womb and affects less than 1% of the population. It does not generally endanger life, but causes problems significantly damaging the quality of life – pains, swelling and sometimes pressure on vital organs such as the windpipe.
“Vascular defects are not common and so in most cases are not diagnosed correctly. And when they are, we can’t always find the right treatment. In recent years, advanced techniques have been developed to deal with venous malformations although they are not common in Israel. Sclerotherapy is generally performed in stages and in most cases we can’t remove the defect entirely, although we can significantly improve the patient’s clinical situation. This method is suitable for children and adults suffering from pain, swelling, aesthetic problems or in cases in which vital organs are being affected. The treatment uses a special drug injected directly into the affected blood cells to make them shrink,” explains Dr. Farkas.
The Vascular Anomalies Clinic at Shaare Zedek treats patients from all over the country, children and adults alike, and performs more than 100 procedures every year, including micro-invasive treatment and sclerotherapy.