Cerebral arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are abnormal tangles of blood vessels of the brain. A resection is the surgical removal of small AVMs that are on or near the surface of the brain.
As a treatment for cerebral AVMs, a microsurgical resection sometimes is part of a complementary procedure with stereotactic radiotherapy or used in coordination with embolization. Radiotherapy uses radiation doses to cause the lesions to clot and, over time, to close off. Embolization is an endovascular procedure where a catheter threaded up through the groin artery to the brain AVM delivers a material (such as a medical glue or a soft, metal coil) to block blood from supplying the AVM; however, the AVM remains. Thus, sometimes endovascular embolization may be performed before the resection.
A variety of factors such as the history of previous ruptures, the location of the AVM, the size and the presence of an aneurysm are reviewed to determine if a patient is a good candidate for a microsurgical resection of a cerebral arteriovenous malformation.
During the surgery, the patient is anesthetized and the head secured.
Recovery generally begins with one day in the intensive care unit and another four to six days in the hospital.
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