Fibro-Adipose Vascular Anomaly

Mother hugging kid

Fibro-Adipose Vascular Anomaly

About Fibro-Adipose Vascular Anomaly (FAVA)

Fibro-adipose vascular anomaly (FAVA) is a rare but painful vascular anomaly in which a large portion of a muscle in one of a child's limbs is taken over by tough, fibrous, fatty vascular tissue and can hinder movement and use of the limbs.  


There are several symptoms of FAVA including:

  • Severe pain in the affected limbs.
  • Enlargement and difficulty moving the affected limb and moving, flexing.
  • Visible veins.


FAVA may be caused by a mutation in a gene called PIK3CA, but it is usually not passed along in families.


Columbia doctors will perform a complete medical history and thorough physical examination to diagnose FAVA. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasounds are sometimes needed.

Treatments We Offer

New therapies to treat and prevent FAVA are being discovered all the time and Columbia doctors have access to the most innovative treatments available. Current treatment options include:  

  • Physical therapy — to ease pain and increase the range of movement in the affected limb. 
  • Cryoablation or cryotherapy — the use of extreme cold to destroy painful or diseased tissue.
  • Embolization — image-guided treatment in which a special material or a device is injected into a blood vessel to block or close it.
  • Surgery — involves removing the FAVA and then performing the necessary reconstruction afterwards.

These treatments can be used in combination if necessary.

Why Choose Columbia?

Once a diagnosis is confirmed, our team at Columbia will work with you to develop a coordinated and comprehensive treatment plan that matches your child's specific needs. The team at Columbia brings the expertise of other departments and specialists as necessary to provide your child with the best care possible in our family-friendly atmosphere.