A brain AVM is a rare and complex condition where abnormal connections between arteries and veins form in the brain, resulting in potential serious health risks. Surgical resection is a treatment option in some situations.
What is Surgical Resection for AVM?
Surgical resection, also known as brain AVM removal, is a delicate and precise procedure aimed at eliminating the abnormal tangle of blood vessels within the brain. During the surgery, a highly skilled neurosurgeon carefully accesses the affected area and meticulously removes the AVM to prevent further complications such as bleeding, seizures, or neurological deficits.
The surgical resection process involves several steps. Before the surgery, advanced imaging techniques, such as an angiogram and often several types of MRI imaging, are utilized to map the AVM’s precise location, size, and surrounding blood vessels. This information is critical in planning the surgical approach.
During the procedure, the patient is under general anesthesia to ensure comfort and safety. The neurosurgeon utilizes microsurgical techniques to delicately navigate through the brain’s intricate structures and isolate the AVM. The abnormal blood vessels are then carefully separated from the surrounding healthy brain tissue and removed to restore normal blood flow patterns.
Recovery and Rehabilitation
Post-surgery, patients may require a hospital stay for monitoring and recovery. Rehabilitation, including physical and occupational therapy, may be recommended to aid in restoring functionality and enhancing recovery. The length of the recovery period varies depending on the complexity of the surgery and the patient’s overall health.
Why Surgery is not always an option
Sometimes, doctors can’t use surgery to remove a brain AVM. This is because the brain is very delicate and has many tiny blood vessels. The AVM might be in a tricky spot that’s hard or even impossible to reach, and surgery could hurt healthy parts of the brain. Hurting healthy parts of the brain could cause the patient permanent disability like losing part of their vision, their ability to use their arms or legs, or even make it difficult for them to speak and understand language. Once you do surgery on the brain, there is no do-over. In many cases, whatever is done, is done and doctors want to make their patients better, not worse. The size of the AVM and how it’s connected to important blood vessels also matter. Surgery could make the person bleed more which might cause a lot of damage to their brain. In these situations, doctors might choose other treatments like special radiation or careful monitoring, which can be safer and better for the person’s health.
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