Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Vascular Malformations Program

The Vascular Malformations Program at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1991 to provide multidisciplinary care to children with a wide variety of blood vessel abnormalities of the face and body.

Our program provides patients with access to an expansive multidisciplinary team and options they might not have at other treatment centers. CHOP’s Interventional Radiology team is among the most experienced in the world, and our renowned surgical team offers an unparalleled level of expertise in the surgical treatment of complex vascular malformations.

Patients in our program are first evaluated by a plastic surgeon and an interventional radiologist, who will determine the need for any additional specialists to enhance your child’s care. In order to provide the best coordinated care for our patients, the Vascular Malformations Program brings together a wide variety of pediatric subspecialties, including dermatology, hematology, oculoplastic (eye) surgery, otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), orthopedic surgery, genetics, hand surgery, urology, pediatric general surgery and neurosurgery.

What we treat

Congenital or acquired blood vessel abnormalities can involve arteries, veins, capillaries, lymphatics, and combinations of these blood vessels. Many of these blood vessel malformations are apparent at birth, while others do not show up until later, during the childhood and teenage years. The most common blood vessel abnormalities that impact children in the first year of life are hemangiomas, the majority of which will improve throughout childhood.

The Vascular Malformations Program specializes in the treatment of blood vessel problems that do not usually go away by themselves. These malformations may continue into adulthood, and in many patients the conditions can worsen and enlarge.

Our team provides a coordinated treatment plan to manage the condition, seeking a cure if possible. It is our aim to help parents and patients understand the condition, diagnostic procedures, and the treatments options available so they have realistic expectations of their outcomes.

Learn more about the conditions we treat »


  • Hemangiomas and pigmented skin lesions
  • Capillary vascular malformations (port-wine stains)
  • Spider angiomas
  • Venous malformations
  • Arteriovenous malformations
  • Lymphatic malformations
  • Pyogenic granulomas (lobular capillary hemangiomas)
  • Angiofibromas (formerly called adenoma sebaceum, in patients with tuberous sclerosis)
  • Glomangiomas
  • Venolymphatic malformations, including angiokeratomas
  • Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome (capillary, venolymphatic malformations)
  • Parkes Weber syndrome (capillary, arteriovenous)
  • CLOVES (congenital lipomatous overgrowth, vascular malformations, epidermal nevus, spinal abnormalities)
  • Proteus syndrome
  • Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome)
  • Blue rubber bleb nevus syndrome (BRBNS)

Our treatment approach

We use a variety of state-of-the-art diagnostic tools to help us diagnose the type and extent of the blood vessel abnormality and determine the best treatment options. Diagnostic testing may include ultrasound, MRI imaging, arterial or venous MR imaging, venograms, arteriograms and blood tests.

We offer a variety of treatment options for vascular malformations, including surgical procedures and minimally invasive treatments. In many cases, non-surgical therapy is highly effective and may include sclerotherapy, embolization, and endovascular laser by interventional radiology. Surgery may include complete or partial excision, laser therapy, and superficial sclerotherapy.

Make an appointment

To make an appointment with the Vascular Malformations Program, please call 215-590-2208. Our clinic meets on the first Friday of each month in the Division of Plastic Surgery, located on the first floor of the Wood Ambulatory Care Building.

 If your child has had an ultrasound, MRI scan, or CT scan at CHOP, the imaging study and report will be available electronically at the time of your clinic visit. If your child has had a study at another institution, it is important to bring a copy of the scan to the clinic. If available, a written report can also be useful, but it is less important than the study itself.

For directions, maps and parking information, as well as additional details about insurance, referrals, and what you should plan on bringing with you to your appointment, visit our appointments page.

Our team

Children and adolescents treated in our Vascular Malformations Program will receive care from an experienced team of plastic surgeons, interventional radiologists and nurse practitioners, as well as experts from a wide variety of pediatric specialties across The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. 


Anne Marie Cahill, MD, Chief, Division of Interventional Radiology
David W. Low, MD, Attending Surgeon, Division of Plastic Surgery

Plastic Surgery

Benjamin Chang, MD, Attending Surgeon, specializing in pediatric hand surgery
Ines Lin, MD, Attending Surgeon, specializing in pediatric hand surgery
Oksana Jackson, MD, Attending Surgeon
Jesse Taylor, MD, Attending Surgeon

Orthopedic Surgery

Richard Davidson, MD, Attending Surgeon

Oculoplastic Surgery

James Katowitz, MD, Attending Surgeon
William Katowitz, MD, Attending Surgeon


Albert Yan, MD, Section Chief, Dermatology
James Treat, MD, Attending Physician
Leslie Castelo-Soccio, MD, Attending Physician
Melinda Jen, MD, Attending Physician
Patrick McMahon, MD, Attending Physician
Marissa Perman, MD, Attending Physician

Genetics – for the treatment of vascular conditions with a hereditary risk.

Elaine Zackai, MD, Director, Clinical Genetics

Otolaryngology – for the treatment of vascular malformations involving the head and neck, especially when the airway is involved.

Pediatric General Surgery – for the treatment of vascular malformations involving the trunk and extremities, especially when the abdominal organs and intestines are involved.

Urology – for the treatment of vascular malformations involving the kidneys and genitourinary system.

Neurosurgery – for the treatment of vascular malformations involving the central nervous system and spinal cord.

Hematology – for the treatment of vascular malformations that may cause bleeding or clotting problems, when anticoagulation may be a treatment option.


Reviewed by: David W. Low, MD
March 2013

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