Vascular Anomalies Center | For Patients & Families

Because of their complex nature, vascular anomalies call for more than medical care. In addition to our comprehensive, interdisciplinary clinical services, the Vascular Anomalies Center also provides information and support for patients and families.

Before your visit

Patients referred for infantile hemangiomas

Please send one email via the Boston Children's secure email portal to vascular@childrens.harvard.edu with the following clinical documents:

  • four to five color photographs in JPEG format of the hemangioma, including the patient’s name and date of birth
  • a demographic sheet and clinical notes (the patient’s primary care provider may be able to assist you with this)

Once the photographs and clinical information are received, our team will be contact you to schedule an appointment.

Patients referred for other diagnoses

Please mail the following clinical documents in one package:

  1. Completed questionnaire: https://redcap.link/VascularAnomalies
  2. Medical history summary: Please ask one of your physicians to provide a succinct, detailed medical history with the information necessary to review your case. If this is not possible, please send only clinical notes related to your reason for referral to VAC. Sending all notes may delay the review process.
  3. Color photographs: Please specify dates photographs were taken. Wide-perspective photos showing the surrounding areas or whole body in addition to closeups are preferred. If the lesion has changed over time, please send photographs from early in life to the present. In addition, a face photo (headshot) is necessary. Please save the images in JPEG format on a CD and mail with your intake packet.
  4. All radiologic studies (for example: MRI, x-ray images) and reports: Please have the studies placed on a CD in DICOM format and mail as part of your intake packet.
  5. Procedure reports related to the vascular condition: Include a copy of the operative/procedure note as part of your intake packet.
  6. Endoscopic studies including reports and color photographs/video: Include a copy of the reports and photographs/video as part of your intake packet.
  7. Pathology slides and reports: Include biopsy slides and pathology reports as part of your intake packet.

Note: We will review all pathology and submit to your insurance for a second opinion. If your insurance company will pay for the pathology consultation, it will be billed to your insurance company. If this is not covered by your insurance company, VAC will cover this fee.

Whether requesting an appointment, conference review, or second opinion, all clinical information should be mailed inside one package with the patient’s name, date of birth, and best email address. Please be sure to sign up for the MyChildren’s Patient Portal prior to sending your package.  Please mail your package to:

Vascular Anomalies Center
Boston Children's Hospital
Fegan Building, Third Floor
300 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

After all of the clinical information and questionnaire has been received, our team will review the file and schedule an appropriate clinic visit or conference review.

During your visit

VAC clinic

Boston Children's VAC holds weekly interdisciplinary clinics. These clinics give patients with vascular tumors or vascular malformations and their families the opportunity to see more than one specialist during the same visit.

Because more complex vascular anomalies may involve multiple body systems, the ability to have multiple specialists in the room at the same time — each bringing their area of expertise — allows physicians to have an immediate back-and-forth interchange and share their assessments with one another, as well as with patients and family members. This allows us to accurately diagnose you or your child’s condition and propose a customized treatment plan that meets the individual needs of each patient.

At the end of your clinic visit, you will leave with a recommended treatment plan, and if needed, appointments for follow-up care.

The interdisciplinary clinics are held in the Longwood location.

In addition to the interdisciplinary clinics, medical clinics are held by many of the VAC physicians in various Boston Children’s locations. The VAC coordinators and nurse practitioners will work with you to determine the best clinic to meet your needs.

Nurse practitioner clinic

There are many different types of vascular anomalies, ranging from simple infantile hemangiomas to complex combination vascular malformations such as Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome. For more complex vascular anomalies, an evaluation in the interdisciplinary VAC clinic is important. For other simple vascular anomalies, a specialized nurse practitioner can provide a timely clinical evaluation.

During the nurse practitioner clinic, a patient will meet with one of our highly experienced nurse practitioners, all of whom have specialized expertise in vascular anomalies. The nurse practitioners will:

  • perform a clinical evaluation
  • provide a diagnosis
  • discuss possible treatment

The nurse practitioners also educate patients and families about their diagnosis, help to allay fears, and empower patients and parents.

During the clinic evaluation, the VAC nurse practitioner may determine that consultation with one or more of our physician specialists is in your or your child's best interest. The nurse practitioner may be able to arrange a physician consultation on the spot, or will schedule a follow-up appointment for another time.

Depending on your child's possible diagnosis, we may perform one or more of the following during your visit:

Patient resources

This information is provided as a service to visitors to our website and does not represent an endorsement by the Vascular Anomalies Center or an assurance that the information in these sites is accurate and up to date. The most reliable source of information about vascular anomalies is a specialist associated with a major hospital.