Vascular Malformation Resection
Resection of vascular malformations can be done to get rid of arteriovenous malformations (AVM), and other forms of vascular malformations caused by abnormal blood vessel clusters. These clusters of abnormal blood vessels form during fetal development, and continue to grow as the child grows older. It’s difficult to spot these malformations at first, but at a certain point in a child’s development, the abnormal blood vessels may become apparent, especially when there’s an increase of blood flow through the affected vessels.
In cases involving cerebral arteriovenous malformations, where the abnormal blood vessels are located inside the skull, the vascular malformations are not easily detected and require an MRI for proper diagnosis.
Having cerebral AVMs is dangerous, because the blood flow from the arteries or veins to smaller capillaries in the brain may be disrupted, which causes oxygen deprivation to the areas served by these capillaries. This can even lead to a buildup of waste that can restrict blood flow completely.
If left untreated, it is also possible for a patient with a cerebral AVM to suffer from a stroke, due to a brain hemorrhage when the walls of the AVM rupture or leak. This is why surgery is oftentimes recommended when a patient is diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation, or AVM in the brain.
Candidates for Resection of Vascular Malformations
The decision to remove these vascular malformations depends on a number of factors, including the size and location of the lesion, the potential damage it may cause to the patient, as well as the overall health of the person with the malformation. If the benefits of operating on the malformation outweigh the risks a patient may be exposed to, then surgery is definitely the best treatment option available.
A relatively healthy patient with a cerebral AVM that is in an easily accessible part of the brain is the ideal candidate for this surgical procedure. In cases where the AVM is at a high risk of rupturing, and poses a serious threat to the patient, neurosurgeons may opt to operate at the soonest possible time in order to prevent a potentially deadly brain hemorrhage.
What to Expect During Surgery
Resection is a major surgical procedure, and involves cutting off blood supply to the malformation and excising it completely. AVMs are not known to grow back once they’re resected, which is why in most cases, one surgery is enough to deal with the problem.
Patients who undergo this type of surgery are placed under general anesthesia. The patient’s head is kept in place with a fixation device, in order to keep the head still during the operation. Depending on the location of the AVM, the surgeon may perform a craniotomy in order to gain access to the abnormal blood vessels.
Once the AVM is in clear view, the surgeon proceeds to tie off the malformation in order to cut off blood flow, before carefully removing the AVM in its entirety. Neurosurgeons are careful not to damage the surrounding tissue, healthy blood vessels, and structures in and around the brain when performing the resection, in order to preserve the patient’s neurological functions.
Do you have an AVM? Are you interested in undergoing a resection of vascular malformations? Call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our well-trained and highly qualified doctors.