I went to the Vascular Birthmarks Foundations website for the first time yesterday to see if I could find any information about port wine stains on extremities and why they should be treated as well as facial port wine stains.
I was horrified when I read the information posted on Port Wine Stains, and what to expect with laser therapy. The beginning of the third paragraph was just as bad.
Port wine stains are congenital vascular malformations of capillary-sized blood vessels. Once these are destroyed with laser therapy, they never return.
I work for a prominent pediatric physician who spends 3/4 of his time running a birthmark clinic in Colorado treating children with port wine stains and also spends time with the Sturge-Weber Foundation. I have worked with this clinic for four years now and I have never heard any of this information. After reading the article, I brought it to his attention, and he laughed stating they can put "anything" on the internet.
Laser therapy to remove a port wine stain is not temporary, and the patient does not have to have maintenance therapy for their entire life!
The pediatric physician I work for has had many, many and many more successful treatments of children with port wine stains, and has never had a patient come back for maintenance therapy. I do his scheduling and I have never had an older laser patient call for a "maintenance" appointment.
We also have docs that do laser therapy to adults with port wine stains, and I have never had one call back stating their port wine stain has returned. It may take a little longer to treat adults due to their stains being bigger and usually thicker than those on children, but once they have disappeared, they are gone for life never to return!
I have seen amazing things working here, and am grateful to be able to be a part of helping patients with such a disfiguring problem permanently! It bothers me to see such misinformation!