Surgical Treatment of Masseteric Venous Malformations and Outcomes

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Intramuscular venous malformations are often misdiagnosed as other types of tumors with similar presentations. We describe here the typical presentation of a venous malformation within the masseter muscle, including the physical findings and imaging, and present our experience with the surgical excision of these lesions. This is a review of 10 patients with venous malformations localized to the masseter muscle who presented to our institution between 2008 and 2011. The patients included 6 females and 4 males. Of these venous malformations, 80% were noted in childhood, and the remainder manifested later in adolescence. Pain, swelling, and facial asymmetry were the presenting complaints. Magnetic resonance imaging, Doppler ultrasonography, and whole-body blood scintigraphy were used to characterize the lesions. All patients were treated by total resection of the lesion while preserving the marginal mandibular branch of the facial nerve. Magnetic resonance imaging showed the lesions to be isointense with surrounding muscle on T1-weighted images and hyperintense on T2-weighted images. Gross examination of the resected specimens revealed multicolored tissue with dilated vascular channels, frequently containing phleboliths. After the operation, all patients showed improvement in both symptoms and appearance. This improvement was sustained at a mean follow-up of 21 months. Masseteric venous malformations typically present with a pattern of clinical and imaging findings that should allow surgeons to distinguish them from other diseases in the cheek area. Complete surgical excision is a treatment option for these patients and can be performed without facial nerve injury or excessive bleeding. This procedure can result in excellent outcomes for localized intramasseteric venous malformation.

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