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Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM)

Highly Experienced Cerebrovascular Surgeons in Dallas

Brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a serious vascular abnormality in which brain arteries can connect directly to veins through an abnormal tangle of vessels. AVMs cause abnormal blood flow to the brain and can cause strokes, seizures, or hemorrhage. Thankfully, AVMs are very rare.

Symptoms of AVM

Some symptoms of AVM include:

  • Seizures
  • Headaches
  • Vision loss
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness in one part of the body
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Confusion and difficulty understanding things

These could be symptoms of many different things, so do not assume you have an AVM right away. These could be signs of many dangerous conditions, so it is important to have a doctor examine them as soon as possible.

Treatment Options

Treatment for AVM varies depending on where it is and how severe it is. Performing vascular surgery on the brain is a very complex process, one that should only be done at a specialty center like Methodist Moody Brain and Spine Institute where a highly experienced team has access to state-of-the-art tools.

Below is a brief overview of AVM procedures:

  • Surgical Removal (resection) – Removing the AVM may be possible if it is in an easy-to-reach area. In this procedure, the surgeon removes a piece of the skull so they can access the AVM. They then remove the AVM from the brain tissue and reattach the removed piece of skull.
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) – In this minimally invasive procedure, the AVM is exposed to radiation from a highly precise machine. The radiation scars the damaged blood vessels so that they clot and stop pumping blood. No incisions are needed in this procedure and it is an ideal choice in situations where the AVM cannot be easily accessed.
  • Endovascular Embolization – This is a minimally invasive, x-ray guided procedure. A catheter is inserted in the leg and moved through the blood vessels into the brain. The catheter then ejects an embolizing agent to reduce blood flow in the AVM. This procedure is sometimes done to reduce the size of the AVM to make it easier to remove it through a follow-up surgery.

If you’d like to learn more about our team’s experience in treating AVMs, call us at (214) 948-2076.