Surgery: Traditional, Minimally Invasive, and Noninvasive Options
In general, your doctors may recommend surgery if you’re experiencing symptoms and if your cavernoma is unstable or has already hemorrhaged. For example, surgery may be recommended if you have epilepsy caused by a cavernous malformation. We offer the full range of surgical treatment options, including:
This option is the most invasive, but it is also the most effective. During the procedure, a small portion of bone is removed to create a temporary opening in the skull. After your surgeon removes the cavernoma, the bone segment is replaced.
Stereotactic Laser Ablation / Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy (LITT)
During this minimally invasive surgery, doctors use a small laser to destroy the cavernoma through a tiny incision in the skull. Because the opening is much smaller than in a craniotomy, there is less risk for complications and a shorter recovery time. This therapy is only recommended for select patients because it still under investigation.
Also known as gamma knife, this noninvasive radiation therapy may be an option for people whose cavernoma is difficult to reach using other methods. While it does not remove or destroy the cavernoma, it can help stabilize it by delivering high doses of radiation without opening the skull. Stereotactic radiosurgery is not recommended for people with the familial form of this disease, because radiation has been tied to cavernoma formation.