Vascular Malformations

Treatment Options for AVMs

Treatment options for AVMs have improved dramatically in the past decade. The goal of treating an AVM is to completely close off the abnormal vessels, thereby curing the patient. This can be achieved in a variety of ways and requires a team of highly experienced specialists to provide the safest methods available posing minimal risks for individuals with AVMs. 

Types of Treatments Available for AVMs

Surgery

Stanford Medicine has been in the forefront of developing the most advanced equipment that enables surgeons to safely operate on AVMs in many areas of the brain and spine.
 
Computer assisted navigation helps localize the AVM to within 1-2 milllimeters of accuracy, which allows for smaller openings in the skull and shorter surgery time.

Embolization

This procedure, done through a catheter temporarily inserted in the groin, places glue or other substances right into the abnormal vessels of the AVM  to help close them off. 

Although several AVMs have been cured with this procedure alone, it is most often used in conjunction with surgery or radiation to reduce the size and flow of blood to an AVM, thereby making other treatments safer and more effective. 

Radiosurgery

This is a non-invasive way of treating AVMs that cannot be safely removed with surgery. 

Radiation delivered in one dose as an outpatient works over several years to gradually clog off the flow of blood into the AVM. 

The CyberKnife method was developed at Stanford and has been a very effective tool to treat even the most difficult AVMs. 

This is done on an outpatient basis.

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