AVM Treatment Options

Palo Verde Cancer Specialists are not only experts in treating cancerous tumors, the specialized radiation therapies they utilize can also treat arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). These abnormal, twisted tangles of blood vessels are most common in the spinal cord and brain, but can evolve in other parts of the body. They cause multiple irregular connections between the arteries and the veins. AVMs are often inherited but can sometimes develop sporadically for unknown reasons. They can cause seizures, painful headaches, weak muscles, paralysis, dizziness, back pain, confusion, vision loss and more. AVMs can also cause bleeding in the brain and destructive neurological damage. The medical oncologists in Phoenix are skilled at treating AVMs using advanced radiation therapies.

Treatment in Phoenix for AVMs and Other Vascular Lesions

Each type of treatment for AVMs includes different dangers, depending on each individual case. Because an untreated AVM can cause bleeding which can lead to brain damage or death, many specialists recommend surgery as the best option. However, brain or spinal cord surgery has serious risks of complications or death. Medical specialists utilize a grading system to estimate the risk of surgery based on the size of your AVM, its location, and it involved it is with the surrounding brain tissue. Treatment options for AVMs include:

  • Medication. Medicines can mitigate some of the symptoms of AVMs, but cannot completely stop their growth. Most medical professionals recommend either surgery or radiation therapy.
  • Conventional surgery – In some cases, surgery can be used to enter the brain or spinal cord and remove the central portion of the AVM, including the fistula. This surgery is most useful when an AVM is relatively small and can be found in an easy-to-get-to part of the brain or spinal cord. AVMs located deep inside the brain in most cases cannot be solved by conventional surgical techniques because there’s too big of a chance that brain function may be lost through damage to the brain.
  • Endovascular embolization – For this treatment, a surgeon guides a catheter through the arterial network until the tip reaches the site of the AVM, then injects a fast-drying glue-like substance, fibered titanium coils or a tiny balloon that will travel through blood vessels and create an artificial blood clot in the center of an AVM. Since embolization usually does not permanently obliterate the AVM, it is usually used in conjunction with surgery or to radiosurgery to reduce the blood flow through the AVM and make the surgery safer.
  • CyberKnife Radiosurgery – CyberKnife is a non-invasive, advanced radiation therapy that combines a flexible robotic arm and a high-tech imaging system to target the AVM, damaging the walls of the blood vessels. CyberKnife’s ability to focus on only the AVM without harming nearby tissue or nerves in the brain or spinal cord gives it a unique advantage over other types of treatment. The imaging system can not only pinpoint the exact location of the AVM, it can adjust movement of the robotic arm as your body naturally moves to keep the radiation beam on track. The flexible arm allows the CyberKnife system to reach the AVMs at hundreds of different angles and on any part of the body. Using CyberKnife over the course of several months causes the vessels to gradually deteriorate and close, resolving the AVM.

Call For Your Free Phone Consultation Today!

If you’ve been diagnosed with an AVM, you owe it to yourself to investigate every treatment option possible. Call one of our convenient Phoenix, Scottsdale or Glendale offices today and talk with our medical oncology experts about how the advanced CyberKnife system can treat your AVMs. Or, complete an appointment request online and visit one of our locations in person. You can trust the doctors at Palo Verde Cancer Specialists to provide individualized treatment for your AVM. Call today.

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