The Vietnam Vascular Anomalies Center (VAC) was the brainchild of Drs. Thuy Phung and Thanh-Nga Tran, two Vietnamese-American physicians who grew up in Vietnam before immigrating to the U.S. They were aware first-hand of the tremendous medical needs among Vietnamese children with disfiguring birthmarks. Their idea was to start a clinic to treat children while simultaneously training Vietnamese physicians in the most current treatment modalities for these conditions. Enthusiastic support came from Dr. Martin Mihm, a renowned medical expert in vascular anomalies who helped create similar clinics in the U.S., Spain, and Italy; Dr. Stuart Nelson, who has extensive clinical experience in laser treatment of vascular lesions; Dr. Rox Anderson, a world-renowned laser treatment specialist and Director of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine; and Candela Corporation, who donated and shipped the lasers to Vietnam. This group traveled to Saigon in February 2009 to establish the first vascular anomalies center in Vietnam.
During the first nine months of operation, the center treated 537 children who otherwise would have gone through their lives with disfiguring birthmarks.