Vascular Anomalies Center of Excellence

Our multidisciplinary team has extensive experience in the diagnoses and treatment of all types of vascular anomalies.

Internationally Recognized Vascular Anomalies Center

With a 30-year history, the Vascular Anomalies Center at Arkansas Children's is an internationally recognized leader in treating and researching adult and pediatric congenital vascular anomalies. The multidisciplinary team provides comprehensive, cutting-edge surgical and medical treatment for a wide range of vascular tumors and vascular malformations. We provide care to more than 900 patients each year, from simple tumors and malformations to more complex vascular anomalies. The center is known worldwide for its research, minimally invasive outpatient treatment methods and excellent outcomes. That's why parents from all over the United States and other parts of the world entrust their children with our team of specialists.

Collaborative Expertise

  • A comprehensive, multidisciplinary vascular anomalies team
  • National and international referral base
  • Strong commitment to treating the whole patient, beginning with the correct diagnosis and education, then moving to treatment options, including medical, surgical and laser therapy.
  • Our experts have published books and articles on PubMed, which have been shared with various institutions nationally and internationally.
  • Our team members attend and present at the International Society for the Study of Vascular Anomalies to stay updated on advancements in the field.

Vascular Anomalies Team

The academic focus of Arkansas Children's is supported by vascular anomalies team members at many levels, from the teaching of medical students and residents about vascular anomalies and other subjects in our various disciplines to the specialized training of practicing physicians from all over the United States and abroad regarding technical aspects of vascular anomaly diagnosis and treatment.

Meet the team

Vascular anomalies are abnormalities of the vascular system. Most vascular anomalies are visible on the body's surface and treatable with various techniques. Others can be discovered deeper in the body later in life, around prepubescent or puberty age, as they grow.

Vascular Malformations are divided into simple and combined/complex malformations. They are also associated with other syndromes.

Meet the Team

With over 30 years of experience treating vascular birthmarks, the Arkansas Children‘s Vascular Anomalies Center of Excellence leads patient care and research. The high-volume clinic addresses simple and complex vascular anomalies through 15 disciplines. The center employs several treatment approaches, including laser therapy, sclerotherapy, advanced surgical methods and medical therapy to provide personalized care.

Medical Director

Service chief, Otolaryngology & Surgical director, Vascular Anomalies


Become a Patient

As one of the Arkansas Children’s nurse care coordinators, I would like to welcome you to our Vascular Anomalies Center. My role is to help facilitate and coordinate the care you will receive among our specialties within our multidisciplinary vascular anomalies team. We can be contacted by phone, email or fax should you have any questions

Amber Smith, RN/CPN
Phone: 501-364-1877 or Fax: 501-364-4790

Traveling to Arkansas Children's?

The Regional Care Center helps families traveling from another state or country receive world-class pediatric care before, during and after your stay.

Learn more about the Regional Care Center

Experts in Diagnosis and Treatment

Approximately ten percent of all children born in the United States have a vascular birthmark. While many of these birthmarks will disappear within a few years of age, about ten percent of these children have a birthmark that will require a specialist's opinion. Parents may face confusion and feelings of helplessness when they are not well-informed about diagnosis and treatment options for their children. We offer patients better outcomes and improved quality of life through advanced treatments and accurate diagnosis of hemangiomas and vascular malformations.

Treatment options may include:

  • Flash-Lamp Pulsed-Dye Laser: Used nationally and internationally, the laser works to remove the small, abnormal vessels in the skin gradually. 
  • Gentle YAG Laser: Treats the vessels within the malformation that become bigger and bluer over time. It targets the specific color and size of the blood vessel.
  • Observation
  • Sclerotherapy
  • Surgery

Become a Patient

As one of the Arkansas Children’s nurse care coordinators, I would like to welcome you to our Vascular Anomalies Center. My role is to help facilitate and coordinate the care you will receive among our specialties within our multidisciplinary vascular anomalies team. We can be contacted by phone, email or fax should you have any questions

Amber Smith, RN/CPN
Phone: 501-364-1877 or Fax: 501-364-4790

There are a couple of things you can do to get ready for your visit. Here are two ways to prepare:

  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.
  • If you arrive late, it is possible your visit will need to be rescheduled due to the amount of time spent with each patient.

Vascular Anomalies patients are seen at the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic located on the 2nd floor of the hospital.

Additional Resources

To ensure a smooth and efficient doctor's visit, bring all necessary documents and items, including:

  • Copies of your most recent MRI, CT, X-ray, ultrasound, genetic testing, or other test results relating to your child’s condition.
  • Radiology reading results and a disk copy so we can upload this into our system.  
  • A list of the current medications and past procedures.  

In addition, bring books, games, or other activities to keep your child entertained while waiting for their doctor's appointment. 

When you arrive for your visit, check in at one of our kiosks outside the ENT lobby. You will then be called to the registration desk to finish the check-in process. Please be sure to bring a copy of your insurance card. 

Once checked in, a nurse will call your or your child's name. You will then enter the clinic for a brief weight and height check.

In the exam room, the nurse will ask you questions about you or your child's medical history. 

During the visit with the physician or physicians, they will conduct a thorough examination of you or your child's vascular anomaly. They will then discuss and develop a treatment plan that will be based on you or your child's individual needs.   

There is a potential for same-day tests. Common tests during the visit include: 

  • Ultrasound
  • X-ray
  • Lab work

Vascular Anomalies Research

Research is an essential element of our Vascular Anomalies program, again utilizing the strength of the multidisciplinary team approach. Team members have made many significant advances in the field to continually advance treatment options and discover fundamental mechanisms of the underlying disease processes.

The Center for Investigation of Congenital Aberrancies in Vascular Development at the Arkansas Children's Research Institute was established in 2008. The center was created to open a dedicated molecular and biology laboratory to investigate vascular anomalies and conduct pilot work on in vitro and in vivo experimental models of disease. In the process, the laboratory has successfully isolated Hemangioma stem cells, explored various molecular markers, and grown various vascular anomalies in nude mice and tissue culture. Our team has presented this work at international scientific conferences and has several manuscripts in progress. Dr. Gresham Richter serves as the Research Director of the Center for Investigation of Congenital Aberrancies in Vascular Development. Our facility occupies 650 ft 2 that is fully operational to conduct the entire spectrum of laboratory techniques, including immunohistochemistry, Western blotting, Northern blotting, RTPCR, tissue culture, and animal experiments. Local institutional intramural funding has supported the initial equipment acquisition and pilot projects.

Some of the awards our research team has won are as follows:

William P. Potsic Basic Science Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Pediatric Otolaryngology from the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology

  • 2011 First Place-Dr. Dai, "Enos Protein Expressions is Decreased in Involuting Hemangioma's"
  • 2011 Second Place-Dr. Hou, "Novel In-Vivo Model for Human Lymphatic Malformations"

Their achievement is the first time in the award program's history that researchers from the same institute were awarded first and second places in the same year.

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