Complications After Treatment of Head and Neck Venous Malformations With Sodium Tetradecyl Sulfate Foam

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The aim of this study was to evaluate complications in patients with head and neck venous malformations (VMs) treated with foam sclerotherapy using sodium tetradecyl sulfate (STS).


The authors retrospectively evaluated the complications, pain. and degree of satisfaction in 69 consecutive patients affected by cervicofacial VM managed with STS using the Tessari method in a single institution.


The average number of procedures for each patient was 2.1. The most frequent complication was blistering. We observed 1 patient of temporary weakness of a facial nerve branch, 1 paradoxical embolism, and 1 orbital compartment syndrome.


The average pain score was 0 (no pain at all) (51.5%). There was no statistically significant correlation between patient satisfaction and the presence of complications or the degree of pain.


Sclerotherapy with STS is an effective treatment that yields to very high patient satisfaction. This procedure has an overall low complication rate and is usually effective within a few sessions. However, severe complications may occur; these must be pointed out in the informed consent and the surgeon must be aware of and ready to quickly treat them to prevent long-term sequelae.

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