Surgery, Gamma Knife or take my chances

In 1995 I had a intracerebral hemorrhage in which the doctors never found the source. The bleed left me paralyzed on my right side and devoid of speech for months. As of today, I have many disabilities but I am still mobile.

This year I finally started pursuring what happened to me. My nuerosurgeon scheduled me for an angiogram of the brain. The results show a small AVM arising from peripheral right-sided A2 branches and draining into the superior sagittal sinus. Most of this sentence is greek but I know I have an AVM. I do not know whether or not this is the same AVM that bled 14 years ago but it dang near killed me.

My nuerosurgeon wants me to give him an answer on whether or not I want him to attempt to fix the AVM or do nothing. This is a hard question for me because I know what a bleed can do and it’s not pretty.

Does anyone have some questions I should ask before I make a committment either way? My appointment is on January 8, 2010.

Thanks and Happy New Year!


Victor I had a intracerebral hemorrhage in 1999 that the drs never found the soure of either. Which also involved my superior sagittal sinus. The first thing I would do is get a second opinion !

Hi Victor,

Lots of questions and I think your DR has to give you a LOT of info, that you find credible, before you can answer the question of “should I try to fix it?”

What risks does he see in treating it vs not?
What procedure does he recommend? Pros/Cons?
What is his confidence level that he can successfully perform this treatment?
Recovery time estimate?
Potential side effects?
What to do next if this fails?
Can you survive his treatment?

If he can’t give you straight answers to these and more questions, I would get a 2nd opinion. Might be a good idea for a 2nd anyway. One of our first neuros cautioned us about getting 2 opinions “What if they don’t agree?” Ours didn’t, but one had treated 300 and the other treated 3,000 AVMs. Guess who’s advice we took.

Best wishes,
Ron, KS