Researchers say there may be a new way to correct hard-to-treat birthmarks by using magnetic resonance imaging during a minimally invasive surgical procedure, where literally lighting up the problem can ensure a more complete correction.
Birthmarks basically consist of enlarged veins. Most people with the birthmarks do not experience problems, but in some cases, the birthmarks get worse, resulting in disfigurement, functional impairment, or bleeding.
A standard procedure called sclerotherapy is used to treat the condition, but the problem is the veins send out small extensions that are hard for doctors to see making the standard treatment often only partially successful , thus researchers decided to see if using MRI technology during the procedure could help pinpoint all of the veins that require treatment. Researchers say their results were overwhelming as it was seen that under MR imaging the veins were as bright as light bulbs thereby making detecting and delineating of the malformed veins extremely simple.
Researchers tested the procedure on 15 adult patients who did not respond to previous treatment and they came out successful with the birthmarks continuing to shrink at follow-up visits.