AVM (Arteriovenous Malformation) Treatment
Here at Northern Westchester Hospital, we're proud to provide world-class care and cutting-edge radiosurgery treatments for patients with rare, challenging conditions, including malformations of the vascular system, or AVM.
To schedule a consultation with one of our AVM radiosurgery specialists, call us at 914.242.8113 or send us a message here.
What Is Arteriovenous Malformation?
Arteriovenous Malformations, or AVMs, are defects in your vascular system characterized by a cluster of abnormal and under-developed arteries and veins that are not connected to any capillaries - this results in tangled masses of blood vessels that are prone to sudden rupture due to the high blood pressure levels within the affected areas.
AVMs can occur anywhere in the body including the liver, kidney, lungs, and eyes. The cause of this vascular disorder is unknown, and most AVMs are congenital (present at birth).
The Stereotactic Radiosurgery Center at Northern Westchester Hospital makes the most advanced treatment options available to our patients with AVM. Stereotactic radiosurgery is not surgery at allâ€”there is no incision, no need for anesthesia. NWH has both the Gamma Knife and the Novalis radiosurgery systemsâ€”the most advanced radiosurgery technology in the world. So patients can have the latest non-invasive treatment for AVM close to home.
Cerebral Arteriovenous Malformations
AVMs located within the brain are known as cerebral arteriovenous malformations; when AVMs develop in the brain, there is an increased risk of damage occurring to the brain due to bleeding - this can result in strokes, permanent brain damage, or even death. Cerebral AVMs can occur anywhere within the brain, or on the covering of the brain, including with the frontal lobes, cerebellum, brainstem, and ventricles.
A brain AVM usually remains relatively static in it's size, however, some of the affected blood vessels may widen (dilate) over time.
Because the blood vessels within the AVM are poorly developed and weak, over time patients with AVMs of the brain face an escalating risk of the AVM rupturing (hemorrhaging), which can cause catastrophic brain damage and/or stroke.
Researchers estimate that an average of 4 percent of all patients with AVM suffer from a AVM-related hemorrhage each year. There is a 56 percent cumulative risk of a cerebral AVM bleeding into the brain over a 20 year period, and an 87 percent cumulative risk over 50 years.
Symptoms of a Cerebral AVM
While most patients with a brain AVM are asymptomatic, those who do experience symptoms may suffer from:
- Muscle weakness and/or paralysis
- Dizziness and lack of balance
- Speech impediments
- Abnormal sensations and unexplained, spontaneous pain
- Headaches and nausea
- Cognitive issues, including memory loss, dementia, hallucinations and/or confusion
Non-Invasive Treatment of AVM
While medications are often used to help manage the symptoms of AVMs, patients who have been diagnosed with a brain AVM are often advised to seek treatment to both relieve their symptoms and prevent a hemorrhage.
Here at Northern Westchester Hospital, our neurosurgeons are treating AVMs within the brain using both the the Novalis TX system and the Gamma Knife Perfexion. These ground-breaking radiosurgery systems allow our team of specialists to direct precise, high-powered radiation beams at the AVM to induce scarring and necrosis (cellular death) within the abnormal blood vessels while protecting the surrounding tissue against damage.
This is a painless, non-invasive procedure that can be completed in a single treatment session. Because no incision is made and no anesthesia is required, the risk of complications is exceptionally low. Most patients return to their regular activities immediately after their stereotactic radiosurgery treatment.
Over time, the irradiated areas gradually degenerate, blocking blood flow to the AVM and eliminating the risk of cerebral hemorrhaging caused by abnormal blood vessels.
We're proud to bring world-class technologies and top surgeons together here at Northern Westchester Hospital, where we're changing lives with our relentless dedication to quality care, innovative treatments, and the achievement of exceptional patient outcomes.
To schedule a consultation with one of our arteriovenous malformation surgery specialists, call us at 914.242.8113 or contact us here.