Vascular Birthmarks Foundation Hemangiomas  |  Port Wine Stains  |  Vascular Malformations  
VBF logo
1994 - 2015
Celebrating 21 years with
80,000 networked into treatment

Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, PhD President and Founder
Donate to VBF    Find a Doctorbefore and after photos
home button

Ask the VBF Experts

Dr. Stuart Nelson, VBF Co-Medical Director and International Port Wine Stain Laser Specialist
Dr. Nelson will answer your questions concerning the diagnosis and treatment of Port Wine Stains.


Dr. Gregory Levitin, Hemangioma and Malformations Surgeon, NYC and LA
Dr. Levitin will answer your questions regarding the surgical treatment of all vascular birthmarks and tumors.


Dr. Robert Rosen, Vascular Lesions of Arms and Legs Interventional Radiologist
Our expert for all non-brain AVMs and vascular lesions of the arms and legs, Dr. Rosen welcomes your questions.


Dr. Roy Geronemus, NYC and International Laser Specialist
If you have a question or concern about laser treatments in general, contact Dr. Geronemus.


Dr. Milton Waner, Hemangioma and Malformations Surgeon
Email Dr. Waner with questions regarding hemangiomas and other vascular lesions.


Dr. Aaron Fay, Hemangioma and Malformation Eye Surgeon
Dr. Fay will answer your questions about orbital birthmarks.


Corinne Barinaga, VBF Family Services Director
Corinne Barinaga, our Administrative Director, will answer emails concerning family advocacy, treatment questions, or physician referral.


Dr. Martin Mihm, VBF Co-Medical Director and Research Director
Dr. Mihm is coordinating and directing research regarding vascular birthmarks and tumors.


Dr. Darren Orbach, Pediatric Neurointerventionalist for AVMs and PHACE
VBF is proud to welcome Dr. Orbach!


Dr. Anne Comi, Sturge Weber Syndrome Specialist
One of the leading experts on Sturge Weber Syndrome, Dr. Comi will be responding to your questions concerning this syndrome.


Dr. Alex Berenstein, Malformations and AVM Interventional Radiologist
Ask Dr. Berenstein your questions regarding interventional radiology.


Dr. Kami Delfanian, KTS Treatment Specialist
Send your questions concerning KT Syndrome to Dr. Delfanian.


Dr. Barry Zide, NYC Hemangioma and Malformations Surgeon
If you have a question or concern about hemangioma and vascular malformation treatment in general, contact Dr. Zide.


Dr. Joseph Edmonds, Lymphatic Malformations Surgeon
Ask Dr. Edmonds your questions related to Lymphatic Malformations.


Anna Duarte, M.D., Florida Expert
Ask our expert Dr. Duarte, your questions about receiving treatment in Florida.


Dr. Orhan Konez, Interventional Radiologist
Questions regarding reading and interpreting films and treating malformations with sclerotherapy or embollization can be sent to Dr. Orhan Konez.


Dr. Steven Fishman, Internal Lesions Surgeon
Ask Dr. Fishman your questions about liver and other internal vascular lesions.


Rafael Ortiz, MD, Neuro-endovascular Surgeon
Ask Dr. Ortiz your questions about vascular tumors of the head and neck region, cerebral and spinal arteriovenous malformations, treatment of craniofacial vascular lesions (venous, lymphatic, AVMs, hemangiomas) in adults and children.


Dr. Calil, Lymphatic Malformation Surgeon
Dr. Calil will answer your questions about Lymphatic Malformations.


Elissa-Uretsky Rifkin, M.Ed. CMHC Midwest Developmental Specialist
A trained developmental specialist and is on the board of VBF. Send questions concerning hemangiomas and this topic to Elissa.


Dr. Stavros Tombris, European Surgeon
Fr. Tombris treats all forms of hemangomas, port wine stains and malformations.


Dr. Stevan Thompson, Military (Tricare) Surgeon
Dr. Stevan Thompson has joined us to answer questions concerning the treatment of vascular birthmarks in the military.


Dr. Helen Figge, Pharmacist
If you or your child has a vascular birthmark and you have a question regarding a prescription drug, please ask Doc Helen Figge.


Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon, VBF President and Founder
Dr. Linda Rozell-Shannon is the leading lay expert in the world on the subject of vascular birthmarks.


Lex Van der Heijden, CMTC Foundation
If you or your child has CMTC, please contact Lex with your questions.


Leslie Graff, East Coast Developmental Specialist
Leslie is a trained developmental specialist. Send questions concerning port wine stains and this topic to Leslie.


Linda Seidel - Make-up Expert
Ask Linda Seidel your questions about make-up.


Nancy Roberts - Make-up Specialist
Ask our expert Nancy Roberts, Co-Creator of Smart Cover Cosmetics (, your questions about make-up.


Eileen O'Connor, Adult Living with PWS


Laurie Moore, Make Up Expert from Colortration
Laurie Moore, from will answer makeup related concerns.


Alicita, Spanish Expert
Ask our expert Alicita, your questions in Spanish.


Dr. Thomas Serena, Wound Care Expert


Sarina Patel, Young Adult Advocate



What Our Families Are Saying About Us


"We relied on the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation to provide us with the information, the contacts, the resources, and the support that we needed to get through this difficult time. Their theme, "We are making a difference" couldn't be more accurate. For us, it was all the difference in the world."
Jill Brown


Hi Linda
Just a note to say how wonderful I found the interview of you and Capital 9 news. Thanks so much for your devotion.


Hank's Story

Hank and Dr. WanerI am 24 years old with a Port Wine Stain and Sturge-Weber Syndrome (PWS/SWS) on my face, upper gum and palate, in my right ear, eye, nose, and on the crown of my head that travels to my forehead. My ear has severe nerve damage and a deformed eardrum from my PWS. My right side internal carotid artery is deformed in my head, causing a very high risk of bleeding if I ever got any major cuts on the right side of my head.

I have had laser treatments since I was 5 years old. I have used four different lasers, three of which were Pulse Dye Lasers (PDL): the first ever PDL, the C-Beam PDL, and V-Beam PDL. I have also used a 1064um Coolglide Yag laser once in an experiment. It was a brand new machine and had a high risk of scarring. I only had seven zaps on my upper right lip and it did scar. If it helped work the kinks out of the machine, so that some day it will help remove a vascular birthmark, then it was worth the scarring.

In New York City I saw Dr. Waner for three plastic/debulking surgeries and they all went pretty well. I would have liked to see more results in some areas but the mass of the hypertrophy (puffiness) was removed on my lip (three places), eyebrows, and nose. A production company filmed my first surgery and are waiting to sell it to TLC.

Right before my surgeries (year and a half ago) I started to lose vision in my right eye, then my left eye. I now have two detached retinas with small hemangiomas that are growing on the retinas. I also have either one or two AVMs that are evolving into my optical nerve. This problem started because the pressure in my eyes is so low (glaucoma with SWS is high pressure normally) and no doctors I have seen yet have really been able to explain my condition. One doctor tried steroid injections, which might have helped raise my pressure, but not enough. Last January I had radiation treatment on my retina. They said it will take three to four months to heal, and I’m still waiting. Since treatment my vision has rapidly been getting worse. I have already given up driving and have just been accepted to the Commission of the Blind for rehabilitation. Hopefully, I will start school soon.

I also have had dental surgery due to the PWS on my gums (all my top teeth where shifted to the left two places). I had wisdom teeth removed, braces, and then had porcelain glass teeth and a bridge put in at the front of my mouth.

I do extensive volunteer work and I’m ready to tell you what it's like to live with a vascular birthmark.

Contact me here!