The size, type, location, and status of this type of vascular malformation will determine the best treatment options. Patients can also choose a watchful waiting approach.
May be prescribed to treat symptoms -- including headache, back pain, and seizures -- caused by AVMs.
Endovascular Coiling or Embolization
A catheter is inserted through a small incision (usually in your groin), threaded to your brain, and used to place coils, glue, or plugs to block blood flow within an AVM or dural spinal fistula. This procedure may be done in combination with radiosurgery.
Surgeons create an opening in the skull (a craniotomy) with computer imaging guidance (usually MRI based). Using a high-power microscope, surgeons remove the AVM and cauterize (or burn) its feeder blood vessels. Complete removal is confirmed with cerebral angiography. This procedure can provide immediate cure, eliminating the risk of future bleeding, and it is often the preferred option for ruptured AVMs.
Computer imaging is used to guide a single high dose of radiation directly to the AVM. No incision is required. This procedure is typically used for AVMs that cannot be reached by surgery.