Is bruising from onyx normal?

My husband has had three embolizations at this point, over the past 2 ½ months. The most recent one was last Friday. My question is this: Is this kind of bruising normal afterwards? He didn’t have bruising after the second one. The first one he did. The doctor said he had never seen that before. It was like the onyx was seeping out through his skin. It pussed, and then finally healed. He also feels it is seeping out his eyes and ears; finding any way it can to get out of his body.
Is this normal?
Thank you in advance.

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This is the 1st case that I am seeing of this sort of issue. . . I have also had an Onyx embolization & have done a good fair share of research about it

I’d speak with his neuro team & have them find the answers

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@Greg_K, can you help this new member with her question?

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Can’t say that I’ve personally experienced or heard of any such reactions to Onyx. And my rather large avm has taken a lot! I remember my neurorad mentioning some cortical feeders (near the surface that he emobolized that virtually eliminated some headaches. I wonder if it is a rxn to the flouro radiation used during the procedure? Something worth asking your physician. After one of my embos I had a small rectanglular loss of hair on the back of my head near my avm site. Likely fluroscopy related. GK

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I’ve had my AVM surgically removed, but never had ( was it onyx) injections. However I frequently get very similar bruising on my arms and hands. The slightest bump will immediate cause these dark purple marks. Within a few days they will fade and generally gone within a week. My GP doc said they are common as we get old and may result from sun damage to the skin. I’ve had them bleed profusely if the skin is broken from a hard hit, but never any inflammation or drainage. Doc said there is nothing that can be done to prevent them.

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I wonder if there were any anticoagulants that were given in conjunction with the Onyx surgery? Bruising is a common side effect of blood-thinning medications.

I came out of my Onyx procedure with a bruise on my big toenail. It developed into a fungal infection, one that I’m still fighting more than five years later. I assume that either some piece of equipment was pushing on it during the hours long procedure, or that at some point when they were moving me it simply got bumped. I assume nothing like that was allowed to happen to your head!

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The doc had never seen it before and hasn’t offered anything more than that. Thank you for replying.

The only thing they gave was an aspirin. The bruising happened on the first and third embolizations, but not the second. And they happened in exactly the area the neurosurgeon was working.
Supposedly we are done with embolizations. Next is Gamma Knife to get to the bleeding on the left.
Throughout all of this, over the past four months, the headaches haven’t gone away, the dizziness is off and on and there doesn’t seem to be a pattern to it. We are both getting frustrated and concerned that nothing is going to change.
Thank you for replying.

Aspirin?! We aren’t really supposed to have blood thinners - at BNI, they told me hold off n aspirin & ibuprofen

I’d really recommend getting a 2nd opinion on this - but, I know this may be McGee easier said than done

I was actually getting ready to ask on how he was doing with this

Yes, every procedure he’s had, whether the embolization or an angiogram they have given him an aspirin that day. He tries to take tylenol instead of ibuprofen.

That is so strange

How’s he doing? The bruised look go away/down?

The bruising has lessened. No hair grows there anymore.

Honestly he isn’t doing great. I keep reading here that headaches go away after embolizations, but they haven’t even after 3. He still has dizziness, which also affects his gut as it makes him nauseous. He had another seizure last week. He spends a lot of time on the couch sleeping. We are both frustrated and wondering if things will ever have a sense of normalcy again. I’m needing a little hope about now. On the flip side I am so grateful he is still here.

The next step is gamma knife, we will have a day/time soon on that.


I remember the moment my “headache” went away upon waking up from the embolization procedure. Mine was caused by the hemorrhage my dAVF was feeding - I truly hope his aches aren’t of the proportion that I had.

Did he hemorrhage?

Sorry to hear tho - unfortunately not all seem to have the “luck” that I have

You state here ‘on the flip side’, but personally I think the primary is ‘he is still here’ and the flip side being he’s still symptomatic. I did not have onyx, I had a craniotomy and even years later I still have all of those symptoms (and more). My original symptoms have changed post surgery, some for the better BUT by the same accord, some for the worse, MUCH worse. I was given all sorts of surety that surgery would ‘Fix’ my symptoms, but this is far from ‘Fixed’.

The circulation of blood within the brain is established before we are even born and our bodies develop and mature around these circuits. Then along comes the dr’s and alter these flows, this simply must have flow on effects. For some people these effects can be minimal and manageable, with an almost miraculous recovery, but for others there can be ongoing issues. You speak of ‘normalcy’ but if you read through some of the posts you’ll see some people talk about a ‘new normal’ and we often need to make adjustments to accommodate this ‘New normal’. I’ve required a few neurosurgeries, my last being in '13 and I find I still need to make adjustments daily. For some people, sure, the headaches go away, but for others that’s just not the reality. All of those ultra fine neurocircuits have been disturbed and how that affects a person can be very individual.

When it comes to neurosurgery 2.5 months is still early on in your husband’s recovery and, for me, my symptoms are on a bit of a see-saw good days-bad days-good days… as I’ve often said:

Some days I could leap a tall building in a single bound. (OK, bit of an exaggeration) But some days I’m lucky to be able to crawl out of bed. I never can tell.

I have to be prepared to manage whatever the day throws at me.

Merl from the Modsupport Team

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