Vascular anomalies remain a challenge for both patients and plastic surgeons. Recently, promising results have been reported using intralesional photocoagulation (ILP) to treat extensive vascular lesions. At the authors' center, they have treated more than 300 patients with vascular anomalies in different parts of the body between 1996 and 1999. They describe their operative techniques of ILP. Laser pulses of a 1,064-nm wavelength from the Nd:YAG laser were delivered to the target tissues with a 600-μm optical fiber. They report 2 patients who developed complications after a single session of ILP therapy for their extensive vascular malformations. The first patient had Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome (capillary-lymphaticovenous malformations) with widespread involvement of her buttocks and left lower limb. She had severe leukocytosis, thrombocytosis, and hyperkalemia that resolved with intravenous hydration, antibiotics, and sodium bicarbonate. In their second patient, the entire left upper limb was affected. Her total red cell count diminished by a quarter and her hemoglobin concentration dropped by more than 3 g%. This was corrected gradually with supplemental oral hematinics. Although these complications resolved uneventfully in their patients, they hope that their possible development will caution anyone who may wish to attempt this new method of therapy.
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