- Our Aim
Our aim is to help and advise families/individuals who have been diagnosed with Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) of the brain.
- What is an AVM?
An AVM is an entangled mass of blood vessels/veins which can occur anywhere in the body including the brain (cerebral) and are thought to be defects of the circulatory system that are generally believed to arise during embryonic or fetal development or soon after birth. AVM’s are very rare and occur in less then 1% of the general population. With age these entangled blood vessels are thought to get larger and weaker, which can result in epilepsy, haemorrhaging, major stroke, severe disability or death.
Headaches/migraines with exhaustion which can last for days
Impaired speech or smell
Black-outs with abnormal taste in the mouth
Protruding veins on the temple
Buzzing in the ears
Stroke like symptoms
Short-term memory loss
Note: an AVM can be present and may not produce any symptoms at all.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Computerised Tomography (CT Scan)
Gamma Knife- is a procedure which can be used as an alternative to open surgery for the treatment of benign and malignant brain, head and neck tumours, vascular malformations and certain functional disorders including trigeminal neuralgia, Parkinson's disease, psychoneurosis, and epilepsy.
Unlike other types of radiation therapy, the Gamma Knife uses a single dose of radiation to target only the affected area. As there is no open surgery, the complications normally associated with an operation are eliminated, as is the need for a long recovery time. This means that normally you can nearly always expect to be treated and discharged within 24 hours.
The Gamma Knife equipment is safe, accurate and reliable. It uses highly precise radiation beams to destroy AVM's, brain tumours and other abnormalities without the need to operate.
Embolisation- is a technique which involves injecting liquid glue or coils into the AVM, using a catheter similar to the one used for an angiogram. Embolisation is also the blocking of an artery, the blood vessels supplying an organ, to stop blood flow.
Craniotomy- is an operation to open the head in order to expose the brain. The word craniotomy means making a hole (-otomy) in the skull (cranium). This operation is carried out in hospital by a neurosurgeon who has specialised in surgery of the brain and spinal cord.
Observation- a consultant would observe and follow the lesion at regular intervals. If symptoms develop which become more progressive this is when surgery is imminent.