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Brain AVM surgery

Excision of arteriovenous malformation (AVM)

If you are found to have a brain AVM, our expert neurosurgeons are able to surgically remove this for you

About

An arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a term used to describe a complex tangle of blood vessels in your brain with abnormal connections between your arteries and veins. They are almost always present at birth and arise during early development of the baby in pregnancy. They are usually not detected until later on, or may never cause symptoms during a lifetime. An AVM can interfere with normal blood circulation, it may trigger epileptic seizures and if it bleeds it can cause sudden onset headache or a type of stroke.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    If treatment is required, most AVMs are now obliterated without the need for open surgery (using either gamma knife radiosurgery) or interventional radiology.

    If surgery is the best treatment option, the excision (removal) will be carried out under general anaesthetic, which means you'll be asleep. This involves a craniotomy (open brain surgery) and this complex operation may take up to several hours.

    In order to remove the AVM, your surgeon may follow these steps: 
    - make an incision in your scalp before cutting a window  of bone from the skull (bone flap)
    - seal off and remove the AVM from the surrounding brain tissue
    - finish by replacing the bone flap and closing the incision

     

     

  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your neurosurgeon will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you might have.

    Because you'll be having general anaesthetic, they'll let you know how long you should avoid eating and drinking before surgery. You may also be asked to attend a nurse-led pre-assessment clinic.

    Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your neurosurgeon will explain these to you.

    In some cases, your neurosurgeon may request a pre-operative embolisation of your AVM, this will be performed by a specialist radiologist. Particles or a special glue is injected into the abnormal arteries of the AVM to reduce the blood flow, making the surgery easier and safer

  • Afterwards icon plus

    You will be monitored closely after you awaken from the anaesthetic in a recovery room. Our nurses will measure your blood pressure, heart rate and respiration levels. You'll then be moved to a regular ward, and should be able to go home within one week of the procedure. During this time, you will have an angiogram to ensure the AVM has been completely removed. Your consultant will advise you on how to approach your recovery process at home. They will of course discuss any concerns you may have, and arrange a follow-up appointment with you.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

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    The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 020 3131 7216
    Enquiries 020 3130 6833

  • Wellington-south-hero-facility-582-582

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 0207 483 5148
    Enquiries 020 3131 7478

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments and Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773
    Switchboard 020 7407 3100

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    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street

    London

    W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7034 8181
    Enquiries 020 3131 7962

  • The Portland Hospital Facility

    The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street

    London

    W1W 5AH

    Children's enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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