Arteries, capillaries, and veins are three blood vessels which play a significant role in managing entire body. Arteries perform the function of carrying oxygen and nutrient-rich blood from heart to brain. Capillaries provide nutrients and oxygen from blood to tissues and veins take back this oxygen-depleted blood back to heart. This routine is constantly followed by these blood vessels to help an individual stay healthy. Brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a defect that emerges in brain and disturbs this normal procedure of blood circulation. It may considerably damage brain and lead to life-threatening complications. Therefore, prompt identification and treatment of brain AVM are important.
Causes and Symptoms of Brain Arteriovenous Malformation
There are no known causes of brain arteriovenous malformation. However, medical experts state that it may occur in fetal development phase. Also, it has been observed that people who have a family history of AVM are at a higher risk of getting this type of defect in brain. The following points describe some common warning signs and symptoms of brain arteriovenous malformation.
● Bleeding in Skull – Brain arteriovenous malformation may cause bleeding in skull. This condition is clinically referred to as a hemorrhage.
● Seizures – Patients with an underlying brain AVM defect may encounter frequent episodes of seizures.
● Headaches – Patients may experience severe headaches, mostly in one side of head.
● Numbness and Weakness – Patients may feel extremely weak and may experience numbness.
● Loss of Vision – Brain AVM may affect patient’s eyesight to a large extent.
● Speech Problems – Patients may start to experience speaking difficulty.
● Memory-Related Problems – Patients may find it hard to understand others. They may not relate to others and get confused every now and then due to an underlying brain AVM defect.
These symptoms are likely to appear in between age of 10 to 40. Patients must not delay in visiting an experienced and well-qualified neurosurgeon for a precise diagnosis.
Types of Brain Arteriovenous Malformation
The following list conveys major types of brain arteriovenous malformation.
● True Arteriovenous Malformation – This type of brain AVM occurs due to abnormal twisting of blood vessels that interconnect arteries and veins.
● Occult or Cavernous Malformation – It is a kind of vascular defect that may fuel up possibility of bleeding in brain.
● Venous Malformation – A venous malformation develops due to defect in veins. It may give rise to serious problems such as enlargement of veins.
● Hemangiomas – They result due to accumulation of unusual blood vessels and structures at the bottom most region of brain.
● Dural Fistula – A dural fistula is mostly formed due to abnormal interlinking between blood vessels and covering of brain.
Diagnosing Brain Arteriovenous Malformation
Patients experiencing above-mentioned symptoms should reach out for a medical help as early as possible. They should contact a neurosurgeon and discuss everything without any hesitation. It will certainly help in obtaining beneficial outcomes. Respective neurosurgeons may begin diagnosis with following tests.
● Complete Medical History – Neurosurgeons may ask for previous healthcare reports to analyze patient’s overall medical status. They may also request patients to tell regarding the medicines they take to manage their health. Patients should stay honest and answer everything clearly to help surgeons in accurate diagnosis.
● CT Scan or MRI – Depending on primary health examination, neurosurgeons are likely to order a computerized tomography test (CT scan) or a magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI scan). These are imaging techniques which are capable of generating precise and high-quality images of patient’s internal brain, blood vessels, and nearby structures. An MRI uses radio waves and magnetic field and a CT scan test use x-rays to give desired output.
● Cerebral Angiography – This diagnostic procedure involves inserting and guiding a catheter through patient’s groin to brain for checking out an abnormality in blood vessels. A specialized dye is injected into blood vessels and which helps in determining location and extent of AVM in brain.
Diagnosis report will play a crucial part in deciding treatment for AVM. Neurosurgeons will discuss the entire procedure with patients before taking any step.
Treatment Options for Brain Arteriovenous Malformation
The following points give the treatment options for brain arteriovenous malformation. Respective neurosurgeons will choose a befitting medical plan depending on severity, location of AVM and patient’s general health.
● Primary Treatment – Surgeons may suggest intake of medications in initial stages when AVM does not cause any significant symptoms. Medications can help manage the condition to a great extent. Doctors may order health check-ups at regular intervals to monitor patient’s status.
● Resection Surgery for Ruptured AVM – Respective neurosurgeons may decide to perform a surgical procedure for removing ruptured AVM. Normally, such operation is conducted under influence of general anesthetics. Surgeons begin with opening skull of patients. They thoroughly inspect skull and carefully remove trouble-causing ruptured AVM.
● Endovascular Neurosurgery for Unruptured AVM – Endovascular neurosurgery is less invasive in nature as compared to a conventional procedure. Surgeons insert a catheter into abnormal blood vessels and block them with the help of micro coils or adhesives. This surgery aims at preventing rupturing of AVM.
● Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Small AVM – Stereotactic radiosurgery procedure is used when AVM is small but is located at a position which is difficult to access. It involves the use of high-intensity beams to wipe out undesired blood vessels. Beams are focused at AVM to damage them. Such damaged blood vessels eventually clot off on their own.
General Risks and Complications Associated with Brain Arteriovenous Malformation Surgery
The below list elaborates common complications associated with above-mentioned surgeries for brain arteriovenous malformation.
● Infection – There may arise a risk of severe infection at incision site. Patients should take proper medicines and contact respective surgeons if they face such problems.
● Brain Swelling – AVM surgery may result in swelling of brain. Surgeons will likely provide medicines and drugs to resolve this issue.
● Serious Weakness – Patients may experience numbness or weakness in face following AVM surgery. In some instances, it may also paralyze their whole body.
● Brain Damage and Stroke – AVM surgery may cause permanent brain damage or sometimes may lead to stroke.
Patients must discuss regarding associated risks and complications with surgeons before they sign a consent form. They must also clear their concerns regarding procedure and measures that need to be taken for avoiding such complications during pre-surgery consultation.
Recovery Following Brain Arteriovenous Malformation Surgery
Recovery will be based on type of AVM surgery and patient’s routine in postoperative period. They should ask a family member to help them with basic self-care activities until they become healthy enough to carry out on their own. They should eat properly and take prescribed medicines on time. They should not miss visiting hospital for follow-up care. A positive frame of mind and dedication towards following each and every instruction of doctor is important to recover in a smooth manner.
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A great association with all prime super specialty hospitals, cost-effective treatment packages, and compassionate care towards overseas patients have made Travcure Medical Tourism the best healthcare facilitator across the world. Medical professionals at Travcure offers a large range of neurological treatments and surgery including arteriovenous malformation surgery in India at economical prices. They do not compromise on quality of treatment and make sure patients get operated in fully-furnished hospitals under guidance of best neurosurgeons. They assist international patients at every step of their healthcare journey right from providing free online medical consultation to their recovery phase following arteriovenous malformation surgery. They constantly stay in touch with global patients to provide postoperative care even when they return to their respective countries. Therefore, international patients can rely on Travcure Medical Tourism and ensure successful outcomes following arteriovenous malformation surgery in India.
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