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Excision of Facial Venous Malformation

Introduction:

Facial venous malformations are challenging vascular anomalies that can significantly impact a patient’s quality of life. These malformations, characterized by abnormal clusters of dilated veins in the facial region, can cause significant cosmetic deformities, bleeding, and functional impairments. Surgical excision of facial venous malformations is a treatment option, aiming to address both the concerns and functional limitations associated with these vascular anomalies.

Case presentation:

The affected area on the lateral aspect of the upper eyelid margin was treated with a YAG laser set at 20 watts and one-second exposure time. This was followed by excision of a 1 x 2 cm segment of the affected skin above the eyelid margin. Using electrocautery, the skin, subcutaneous tissue, and venous malformation were dissected, avoiding branches of the facial nerve to the orbicularis oculi muscle. The incision was carried around the obvious margins of the malformation down to the temporalis muscle fascia. The dissection was performed underneath the lesion until it was completely resected. After excision of a portion of the eyebrow involved in the malformation, the deeper parts of the upper eyelid and orbicularis muscle affected by the venous malformation were removed. The deep portion of the dissection was not very vascular and was controlled with the bipolar and monopolar cautery. To achieve primary closure, we carefully undermined the forehead and facial skin. The lower facial skin flap was elevated and advanced, and primary closure was achieved with Vicryl sutures. Closure of the eyelid skin to the lateral forehead skin followed with chromic and Vicryl sutures to alleviate tension. Although the larger vascular lesion was excised from the skin and subcutaneous tissue, residual malformation remained around the upper eyelid and lateral orbital rim. This was dissected under the skin to remove the vessels and preserve the eyelid skin. Post-procedure, Mastisol and Steri-Strips were applied to the suture line to relieve tension and help wound healing.  The estimated blood loss was less than 30 mL. The patient had no complications and did well.

Conclusion:

In this case, the surgical intervention effectively removed most of the facial venous malformation. Despite some residual malformation, the procedure yielded satisfactory outcomes with no postoperative complications. The residual malformation in the upper eyelid can be controlled with a YAG laser and/or sclerotherapy.

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Cosmetic and/or functional improvement for the patient.
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Potential for damage to branches of facial nerve.
There is a risk of entering the venous malformation itself, with concomitant bleeding. Management may include cauterization or ligation of relevant vasculature.
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