AVM & Hemangioma

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What Are Hemangiomas and Vascular Malformations?


Hemangiomas are noncancerous growths of blood vessels that usually appear shortly after birth or during infancy. They can occur anywhere in the body but are commonly found on the skin, mucous membranes, or internal organs. These growths typically grow rapidly in the first few months of life before gradually shrinking and disappearing over time, often by age 10.

Hemangiomas may present as red marks that later turn into raised, rubbery lesions. While many hemangiomas resolve on their own without treatment, some may require intervention if they pose risks such as airway obstruction or uncontrollable bleeding.

Vascular malformations

Vascular malformations are growths of blood vessels that are noncancerous and are present from birth, often referred to as birthmarks. However, they may not become noticeable until weeks or months after birth. Unlike hemangiomas, they grow gradually over time and do not shrink.

There are various types of vascular malformations, including:

  • Port wine stains
  • Venous malformations
  • Lymphatic malformations
  • Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs)
  • Mixed malformations

These malformations can cause a range of symptoms depending on their location and size and may require treatment if they affect health or quality of life.

What Are the Symptoms of Hemangiomas and Vascular Malformations?

Hemangiomas and vascular malformations can present with various symptoms, depending on their type, size, and location. Below are the symptoms associated with each:


  • Initially, hemangiomas may appear as faint red marks on the skin, which then grow quickly after birth.
  • They commonly occur on the head or neck but can develop anywhere on the skin, mucous membranes, or internal organs.
  • Most hemangiomas undergo rapid growth during the first few months of life, followed by shrinkage.
  • Depending on their size and location, hemangiomas may cause physical problems, such as difficulty moving a body part, if they affect muscles or joints.

Vascular Malformations:

  • Vascular malformations can vary in appearance depending on their type. They may appear as bluish or purple masses under the skin.
  • They can occur in various parts of the body, including the skin, muscles, bones, and internal organs.
  • Unlike hemangiomas, vascular malformations grow slowly over time and do not usually shrink.
  • Other symptoms may vary based on the type, like swelling, palpable warmth, a pulse, thrill, protrusion, and pain.

What Are the Complications of Hemangiomas and Vascular Malformations?

Hemangiomas and vascular malformations are usually noncancerous but can lead to various complications depending on their size, location, and rate of growth. Some potential complications include:

  • Large or deep-seated lesions may interfere with the function of nearby structures, such as the eyes, airway, or vital organs.
  • Hemangiomas, particularly those located on the skin’s surface, are prone to ulceration or breakdown of the skin overlying the lesion.
  • Those that are visible on the skin, especially on the face or other prominent areas, can cause cosmetic concerns and affect self-esteem.
  • Vascular malformations involving the limbs or joints may restrict movement and cause functional limitations, impacting daily activities and quality of life.
  • They can be associated with spontaneous bleeding, which may be severe and difficult to control.
  • Vascular malformations located near nerves or other critical structures can exert pressure, leading to pain, numbness, or weakness in the affected area.
  • In rare cases, they may be associated with more serious complications, such as congestive heart failure, organ dysfunction, or life-threatening bleeding.

How Are Hemangiomas and Vascular Malformations Diagnosed?

Diagnosing hemangiomas and vascular malformations typically involves several diagnostic methods, including:

  • Physical examination
  • Medical history, including any family history of similar conditions.
  • Imaging studies, like doppler ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT) scans.
  • Tissue biopsy.
  • Angiography.
  • Genetic testing.

How are Hemangiomas and Vascular Malformations Treated?

Hemangiomas and vascular malformations are treated based on various factors, such as the type, size, location, and symptoms of the lesion, as well as the patient’s age and overall health. Some small, asymptomatic lesions may be monitored closely without intervention, as many hemangiomas tend to shrink over time.

Treatment options may include:

  • Oral medications like beta-blockers or corticosteroids.
  • Laser therapy can be used to target and shrink superficial hemangiomas or improve the appearance of vascular malformations.
  • Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure that involves injecting a sclerosing agent directly into the lesion to cause it to shrink and collapse.
  • Embolization is a technique used to block the blood supply to the lesion by injecting embolic agents into the abnormal blood vessels.
  • Surgical removal may be considered for large or deep-seated lesions that are causing significant symptoms or functional impairment.
  • In some cases, a combination of treatment modalities may be used to achieve optimal results.

The Best Non-Surgical Treatment for Hemangioma or Arteriovenous Malformation – Embolization of the Blood Vessels

Embolization is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat hemangiomas and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) by blocking the abnormal blood vessels that supply them. It is an outpatient treatment and is generally performed under local anesthesia, but in some cases, general anesthesia may be used, especially for children or complex cases. The specifically trained interventional radiologist performs the procedure by making a small incision in the skin, usually in the groin or neck area, to access the blood vessels leading to the hemangioma, or AVM. A catheter (a thin, flexible tube) is then inserted and directed to the main artery supplying the AVM. The interventional radiologist then maps out exactly the extent of the vessels with the contrast dye injection.

Once the catheter reaches the desired location, embolic agents are injected into the abnormal blood vessels. These embolic agents can take various forms, such as tiny particles, coils, or specialized glues, depending on the characteristics of the lesion and the treatment goals. These embolic agents block the blood vessels, interrupting the flow of blood to the hemangioma, or AVM. This deprives the abnormal tissue of its blood supply, causing it to shrink, collapse, or become less active over time.

The entire non-invasive treatment process is pain-free and takes about 30 minutes. The catheter is removed without the need for stitches. Patients undergo observation for a few hours before being discharged on the same day. Many patients resume work the next day.

Exploring AVM and Hemangioma Treatment in India

For effective non-surgical treatment of AVM and hemangioma, consider visiting India. AVM and hemangioma treatment in India offer world-class expertise and advanced medical facilities. The non-surgical AVM and hemangioma treatment cost in India is affordable compared to many other countries, making them accessible for patients seeking quality care without financial strain.

With a focus on innovative techniques and personalized care, India provides comprehensive treatment options for AVM and hemangioma patients. By choosing India for treatment, patients can benefit from cutting-edge technology, experienced interventional radiologists, and a supportive healthcare infrastructure, ensuring the best results and a smooth recovery.

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