The Hemangiomas and Vascular Birthmarks Program brings together pediatric specialists in several different disciplines to provide the most appropriate care for children. It is the most experienced program of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Experts estimate that as many as 60 percent of birthmarks are misdiagnosed and may therefore be treated inadequately or inappropriately. At CHKD, our birthmark team collaborates to diagnose and treat vascular birthmarks, creating a multidisciplinary approach to these complex disorders.

The center’s core staff consists of specialists, in pediatric plastic surgery, head and neck surgery, dermatology, hematology, and radiology, who attend the clinic regularly. Consultants in pediatric orthopedic surgery, general surgery, neurosurgery, gastroenterology, pulmonary medicine, dentistry, genetics, and psychology are also involved as needed.

Conditions We Treat

  • Hemangiomas
  • Port wine stains
  • Venous malformations
  • Lymphatic malformations ("cystic hygromas")
  • Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs)

We Offer the Latest Advances in Technology, Including:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), including non-invasive angiography and venography
  • Surface and intralesional laser therapy, using pulsed dye, KTP, Nd:YAG, and CO2 lasers
  • Local and systemic steroid therapy
  • Angiography and embolization
  • Chemotherapy
  • Picibinal (OK-432) sclerotherapy
  • Multidisciplinary surgical removal

When and Where We Meet

The hemangiomas and vascular birthmarks team meets twice a month in the dermatology office on the third floor of Fort Norfolk Plaza. Parents may self-refer their child or they can be referred by their pediatricians for evaluation and treatment by calling (757) 668-8684.

What to Expect on Evaluation Day

You will receive a call from our nurse coordinator prior to your visit to discuss your child's appointment. The coordinator will meet you on your visit day.

Initial exam: A nurse will review your medical history, taking your child's temperature, pulse, blood pressure, height and weight. If your child is younger than 2, the nurse will also measure your child's head circumference.

Medical team: Your child may see as many as four doctors for dermatology, otolaryngology (ENT),Hematology and plastic surgery in the same visit. In addition to the doctors, there will be nurses and medical residents. This can be overwhelming, be rest assured that everyone is working together to provide the best care for your child.

Photos: We will ask your permission to take photos of your child. These photos are maintained securely for your child's medical record and are used to track changes in your child's condition.

Testing: Your child may need X-rays, EKG or other tests. In many cases, these can be done at the hospital on the day of your visit, reducing the need for additional appointments.

Prepare for a Full Afternoon

The initial evaluation and testing will take some time. Being prepared will help make the day go smoothly.

Don't go hungry. Bring a snack and something to drink, including baby food or formula for infants. (Please, however, check with the doctor before feeding your child as some tests may require an empty stomach).

Plan some activities. Bring a favorite toy, book, game or other activities.

Minimize stress. Bring along a comfort item like a blanket or favorite stuffed animal. Try to leave siblings at home if possible.

Insurance and Co-Payments

To achieve the best possible outcome, the expertise of our entire team of pediatric specialists is often required. To make things easier on our families, the Hemangiomas and Vascular Birthmarks Program has arranged for your child to be seen by up to three different specialists during your evaluation visit.

Insurance will require a separate co-pay and billing for each specialist. All co-pays are normally due at the time of your visit; however, at the Hemangiomas and Vascular Birthmarks Program we are able to accept just one co-pay at the time of your visit. You will receive separate bills at a later date for any additional doctors who saw your child.