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Craniotomy  |  Cerebral Aneurysm  |  Recovery  |  VP Shunt  |  Reconstruction

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Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) Surgery

Radiation treatment (radiosurgery) has been widely used on smaller AVMs with considerable success. The Gamma Knife, developed by Swedish physician Lars Leksell, is one apparatus used in radiosurgery to precisely apply a controlled radiation dosage to the volume of the brain occupied by the AVM. While this treatment is non-invasive, two to three years may pass before the complete effects are known. Complete occlusion of the AVM may or may not occur.

Embolization, that is, occlusion of blood vessels with coils or particles introduced by a radiographically guided catheter, is frequently used as an adjunct to either surgery or radiation treatment. However, embolization alone is rarely successful in completely blocking blood flow through the AVM.

Surgical removal of the blood vessels involved (craniotomy) is the preferred curative treatment for most types of AVM. While this surgery results in an immediate, complete removal of the AVM, risks exist.

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