A new mother’s life was recently transformed when she had a ‘pulsating’ lump on her head operated on during scenes filmed for The Bad Skin Clinic on Quest Red.
Lauren Brook had lived with a blueberry-sized lump on her forehead for the last couple of years and had failed to get a correct diagnosis. Since the birth of her son the previous year, the lump had got larger and often ‘pulsated’, leaving Lauren feeling incredibly self-conscious. In fact, she often refused to take photos of herself with her baby due to insecurity.
“It just puts so much strain on my day-to-day life. I just don’t feel confident anymore,” Lauren says. “Over the last year since I’ve had my baby, it’s just been growing bigger and bigger.”
Lauren visited Dermatological Surgeon Dr Emma Craythorne at her clinic in central London. Emma immediately realised that the lump was not a lipoma or cyst, but actually a type of vascular malformation called an arteriovenous malformation.
“This is entirely related to the little veins and arteries that we have in our body. This is something called a vascular malformation,” Emma explained to Lauren.
Dr Craythorne consulted with her colleague Mr Juling Ong and the decision was made to operate.
“I’m just marking the incision in a nice curvature just behind the hairline, so that eventually it’s hidden well in the hair,” Mr Ong explained to the camera, before he made his first incision, cutting into the skin and tissue behind Lauren’s hairline. “Although it’s a very big incision, once it’s healed, you’ll hardly see it.”
During the procedure, Mr Ong and his team cauterised the veins and the tumour of blood vessels was gently dissected free from the inside of Lauren’s scalp.
Just a few weeks after the operation, Lauren revisited Dr Emma’s clinic and was delighted with the results as her forehead is now completely smooth. “Literally just amazing,’ Lauren reported in the TV programme. “I just feel happy, all the time.”
What is a vascular malformation?
Mr Juling Ong treats vascular malformations in children and adults. These are abnormalities of the veins, arteries, capillaries or lymphatics.
Capillary malformations are commonly known as port wine stains and are caused by the smallest blood vessels or capillaries failing to constrict. Lymphatic malformations involve abnormalities of the lymph system and are often known as lymphangiomas. They can present as a small swelling or a much larger swollen or raised area and can result in skin changes, repeated infections or bleeding.
Venous malformations can be visible through the skin and can present as swelling or bruising after there has been increased blood flow to the affected area, for example, after exercise, when crying or becoming upset.
Vascular malformations often grow a bit faster when there are hormonal changes such as during puberty or pregnancy, as they did in Lauren’s case.
Arteriovenous malformations usually pulsate with a lot of blood flowing through the vessels. They can be painful and bleed and there is a high risk of them regrowing if not treated very carefully.
For more advice on vascular malformations and their treatment, call 020 7927 6528 to arrange a consultation with Mr Juling Ong.