As part of Dr. Buckingham’s specialty in facial plastic surgery, he has a special interest in the treatment of vascular malformations of the face and neck. These primarily include pediatric hemangiomas, port-wine malformations and other vascular malformations.
Hemangiomas are vascular proliferations of endothelial cells (the cells that line blood vessels) that appear in infants from several days old to a couple of weeks old. These tumors, previously known as strawberry nevi, are very common occurring in up to 10% of all infants. Fortunately most of these are very small and most resolve without any scarring or residual evidence. However, a certain percentage of these tumors will grow rapidly and progress to enormous proportions. Unfortunately, many of these that do so are on the face. Dr. Buckingham has extensive experience with these tumors and their treatment including steroids, laser treatment and in refractory cases surgical excision.
Port-wine malformations are actually an abnormality in the development of the sympathetic nervous system’s innervation of the smallest blood vessels rather than a primary problem in blood vessel development. This relative lack of innervation causes these blood vessels to dilate over time, leaving the characteristic port-wine stain. In the past, without treatment, these lesions often thickened and became unsightly. Now with the development of specific vascular lasers, treatment of these abnormalities is possible and can keep the lesions flat and relatively light throughout life.
Many other types of vascular malformations exist including lymphatic, arterial, venous and mixed malformations. More information on these malformations may be obtained at the vascular birthmark foundation Web site at birthmark.org.
To determine if a patient is a good candidate for this procedure, Dr. Buckingham recommends a private patient consultation.
Dr. Buckingham feels that successful facial plastic surgery results from the development and maintenance of good rapport between the patient, the surgeon, and his staff during the consultation and future appointments. The consultation will include a complete facial analysis to determine the best procedure to bring about the desired results and all questions relating to the patients specific concerns will be addressed.
Prospective patients are encouraged to call the office to schedule an appointment at their earliest convenience.
Find answers to Surgery questions in Dr. Buckingham’s Q&A
Frequently Asked Birthmarks Questions
Q – What are birthmarks?
A birthmark is a generic term for a multitude of conditions occurring on the skin which is present at birth or soon after. There are many different types of birthmarks including infantile hemangiomas, port-wine malformations, lymphatic malformations, arterial malformations, venous malformations, mixed malformations and others.
Q – What is a hemangioma?
Hemangiomas appear in infancy either at birth or within the first few weeks after birth. Previously known as strawberry nevi, hemangiomas are vascular proliferations of endothelial cells. They come in all shapes and sizes, appearing early on as either bluish or reddish spots or flat patches. Most occur on the head and neck area.
Q – What is a port-wine malformation?
Port wine stains, also known as venual malformations, are present at birth. They appear anywhere from pale pink in color to dark purple. They result from an abnormality in the development of the sympathetic nervous systems innnervation of the smallest blood vessels.
Q – What is a venous malformation?
A venous malformation is a type of birthmark which results from an abnormality of the larger, deep veins. These birthmarks can vary in appearance. Those that are closer to the surface are deeper in color while the deeper lesions appear as a colorless protruding mass. Some venous malformations are similar in appearance to hemangiomas.