Laser reduces unsightly veins.


Circulatory system Large, protruding veins are called venous malformations by physicians. One new treatment method combines alcohol to shrink the veins, along with the use of a fiber optic laser which closes the vessels.


They are like varicose veins gone berserk--great caverns of venal material, some wound around each other like worms. They can form a large, protruding ball, and sometimes even have the capability to erode through bone and tissue.

These deformities don't have a fancy name; venous malformation is how doctors refer to the unsightly masses. They are treatable, but using alcohol to shrink them or cutting them out can result in disaster. In children, such surgery is even more sensitive.

Richard Phillips of the Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, has combined the use of lasers with alcohol treatment that effectively shrinks the venous cavities without causing other damage. "What we've been using is ethyl alcohol,...

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