A brain arteriovenous malformation is a tangle of abnormal blood vessels that connect arteries and veins in your brain. An AVM can develop anywhere in your body, but it is most common in your brain or spine. AVMs affect less than 1% of the population and are more common in males than females.
This tangle of blood vessels causes serious problems because it prevents arteries and veins from carrying oxygen-rich and oxygen-depleted blood back and forth between your heart, lungs, and brain. The cause of AVMs is not always certain, and they are commonly found after a brain scan for another type of health concern or as the result of a hemorrhage when the blood vessels burst. Skilled neurosurgeons can often treat AVMs successfully.
More than 50% of patients with an AVM have had some kind of intracranial (brain) hemorrhage. The blood vessels in an AVM are typically weaker than normal blood vessels, and this weakening can cause them to burst and bleed into your brain.
There are different types of AVMs and, depending on the type you have, different treatment options. It may be possible to treat part or all of an AVM with interventional neuroradiology/endovascular neurosurgery, which Dr. Jeffrey Farkas, Dr. Tiwari and their colleagues at Interventional Neuro Associates specialize in.
The doctors insert a catheter, a small tube, into an artery in your groin. This allows them to examine the blood vessels in question with a special type of X-ray called an angiogram. During the process, Dr. Farkas and his colleagues guide small metal coils along the catheter to the AVM. The coils will stay in place in your blood vessel after the catheter is removed.
These tiny coils, roughly the size of a human hair, strengthen the blood vessels. This process is a type of embolization. Another method of embolization is accomplished by injecting onyx and glue to block off the abnormal blood vessels that supply the AVM. Treatment all depends on the type of AVM, the symptoms you are having, and the size and location of the AVM in your body.
Dr. Farkas and the highly-skilled specialists determine your specific type of AVM and know which treatment option will be the most effective. Call or schedule an appointment online.