What is a brain arteriovenous malformation surgery?
A brain arteriovenous malformation repair is a type of surgery. It removes a group of tangled blood vessels. This is called an arteriovenous malformation or AVM. The blood vessels in an AVM may get weak and leak or burst. This can make the tissue near it bleed.
An AVM can happen in many areas of the body. But it is often found in the brain. An AVM in the brain may cause seizures.
Before the surgery, you will go to the hospital to have an angiogram of your head. This is a type of X-ray test. It uses a special dye and camera to take pictures of blood flow in the blood vessels of your head. At this time, you may also have a procedure called AVM embolization. It sends tiny particles or a glue-like liquid into the AVM to block blood flow to it. This can make it easier for the doctor to remove the AVM during your surgery.
To do the surgery, the doctor will make a cut in your scalp. This cut is called an incision. Then the doctor may take out a part of your skull bone to be able to reach your brain. The doctor stops blood flow to the AVM and then removes it.
After the AVM is removed, the doctor may use small metal plates and clamps to put back the piece of your skull. Then the doctor closes the incision with stitches or staples.
You may stay in the hospital for a few days.
How do you prepare for the surgery?
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
Preparing for surgery
- Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
- Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
- Tell your doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your surgery. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the surgery and how soon to do it.
- If you take aspirin or some other blood thinner, ask your doctor if you should stop taking it before your surgery. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do. These medicines increase the risk of bleeding.
- Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance care plan. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
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