Need Advice

Hi, I have recently been diagnosed with an AVM in thr left cerebral artery. I had an arteriogram today and have been told that I have three options for treatment. It was recommended that I do get it treated. So, I can opt for embolization, radiation or craniotomy. All three scare me but I am leaning toward embolization. Does anyone have any advice? It is around 1.5 cm in size, and I do have symtpoms of vertigo and dizziness, but have not had any seizures. I guess I am just not sure what to do…

Hi Terra, my AVM ruptured so I had no choice but to have the crainiotomy. Actually, I had no choice at all because I was completely out of it haha. I know embolizations aren’t guaranteed to stop the AVM from rupturing if it hasn’t already done so yet. If you go to wikipedia it’ll explain in more detail about the different treatment options.

Hi Terra,mine is on the left parietal lobe and is 33 mm in size with large venous channels from the avm, I found out about mine this past Nov and had the same three choices as you have,I ended up with gammaknife on January 21 of this year,reason I got that is because the location of the avm was in a risky place for surgery ,so doc felt it would be safer for gamma,he also said I could watch it,but would have a bleed if I did nothing, like you I have not had a bleed,thank God and its been 7 months now from gamma,also never had a seizure as well,to me gamma was the best of choices;) Caroline

First of all, I want to reiterate how lucky you are that you didn’t have a bleed. A bleed can be devastating. Don’t quote me on this, but at least half of these types of brain bleeds lead to fatality or permanent deficits. I know it’s scary, but it could be so much worse.

Okay, now to your question. I had gamma knife 18 months ago. I avoided invasive surgery and the accompanying recovery time, but I had instead 18 months of anxiety and worry about a bleed. The gamma knife worked and I felt it was a good choice for me. I have some sensitivity in my teeth now, but I can live with that. Good luck, Terra.

the best way to make a decision is with your Neuro Sergeon. Then get with your loved ones, discuss and pray about it. you will make the right decision.see James 1 vs 5 through 6 (KJV hOLY BIBLE). mAY God bLESS YOU IN this decision . Mike O’Brien AVM survivor

Hi Terra, my daughter Ashley had an avm diagnosed after a fall on the ice/concussion so it was a blessing in disguise that she fell. They tried to do embolization for her but as they were in there it was determined that if they proceeded w/the embolization she would be paralyzed and aphasic(unable to speak/understand language) so they left it and proceeded with the cyberknife radiation. That was done in May and other than some problems w/ the side effects of the steroids it all went well. She had her first follow up MRI and the blood flow to the avm is already greatly reduced. Next MRI is in Nov. Her avm was about 2.5cm and in the left frontal lobe. She thankfully has never had a seizure or any symptoms from the avm and hopefully will continue that way. Best of luck to you…Denise

Hi, Terra-
The reality is that all of us didn’t know what to do either. We made a scary decision- hopefully with a lot of support from those we love. None of them are easy solutions. Your neuro should be able to give you the pros & cons of each. If he/she did not- get another neuro. Just like anyone else in a job, they don’t always want to admit the possibility of failure

My AVM is just a smidge bigger (3cm), and it was in an ‘eloquent’ part of the brain. That means that there are critical functions in that area and that any treatment was challenging, but surgery was not a good option. Because of the small nature of the AVM, it was a good candidate for radiosurgery/gamma. The issue is whether or not you can patiently wait for 3 years for it to obliterate.

Any decision is a good one because you’re taking action to make it go away.

All the best to you.