Fibro-Adipose Vascular Anomaly (FAVA) in Children

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Contact the Vascular Anomalies Center

A fibro-adipose vascular anomaly (FAVA) is a painful vascular anomaly where a significant portion of a muscle in one of a child's limbs is taken over by tough, fibrous, fatty tissue.

  • FAVA has only been recognized as a distinct kind of vascular anomaly within the last couple of years.
  • This anomaly is uncommon, though the diagnosis of FAVA is often delayed or inaccurate.
  • FAVA generally affects a single limb.
  • In addition to muscle tissue changes, FAVAs can also harbor abnormalities in the veins or lymphatic vessels.
  • The approach to treating FAVA is evolving. Painful muscle masses associated with FAVA can be surgically removed or treated with minimally invasive methods such as freezing (cryoablation). Doctors typically close off large veins (embolization) before surgery. Physical therapy is often necessary. Medications are used for rare cases that cannot be removed or frozen.

How Boston Children's Hospital approaches FAVA

The Vascular Anomalies Center at Boston Children's takes an interdisciplinary approach to care with every child they see, whether the child is initially reviewed at our conference or seen in clinic. FAVA was first described as a unique condition here, and as such we have the depth of knowledge about what symptoms to look for to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

Once a diagnosis and the extent of the disease are confirmed, the team works with you to develop and carry out a coordinated care plan that matches your child's specific needs. The team brings the expertise of other Boston Children's departments and services as necessary to provide your child with the best care in a child-friendly atmosphere.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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