Hadassah Opens New Center for Pediatric Vascular Defects

Previously, children were sent abroad for surgery
and now they can be treated here

Hadassah Medical Organization has recently opened a new center at the Hadassah Ein Kerem campus for treatment of pediatric vascular defects. It is the first of its kind in Israel.

Vascular defects can develop while the child is still in utero. The symptoms of these defects can appear either at birth or later during their adolescent years. The new Hadassah center combines the efforts of specialists from various fields such as plastic surgery, dermatology, laryngology, diagnostic radiology, angiography and invasive radiology. Thanks to this multidisciplinary medical team, an all-encompassing treatment plan is formulated to treat the patients.

Ten percent of infants are born with vascular defects in various areas in the body. For most of these babies, the defect will disappear within seven years. However, some may be left with scarring or aesthetic damage, which unfortunately may socially affect these children in a negative manner. Although, only 1% of children born with vascular defects will need treatment to correct these defects found in main arteries and airways, most children are not correctly diagnosed; a fact which can be life-threatening.

Until now, these infants and children were sent abroad for this type of surgery. With the opening of the new center at Hadassah, these children can receive the same quality of treatment here at home.

The center offers the most advanced medical treatment methods for vascular defects such as lymphatic malformation, vascular malformation, arterial, venous, and hemangiomatic malformations.

One method of treatment closes off the problematic blood vessels by inserting a catheter through the groin. This cauterizes the area until the vein or artery has shrunk in a way which will block blood flow to the area, thus eventually causing it to disappear. The other treatment method is called Sclerotherapy, which also shrinks the problematic blood vessel using an injection of a shrinking substance.This is often done while the patient is under general anesthesia.

Dr. Adam Farkas of Hadassah's Vascular and Interventional Radiology Unit explains that vascular defects will appear in children who have a family history of vascular defects or in children with rare diseases such as Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber Syndrome. "Today, we have access to minimally invasive measures for effective treatment" he says. "But for children and infants, early detection is the key, because it allows them to grow and develop well, physically as well as socially and can avoid unnecessary pain and suffering.