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What happens during microsurgery for an AVM in the brain?

Dr. Geoffrey P. Colby, MD
Neurosurgery
If possible, doctors use precise microsurgical techniques to treat an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in the brain. They carefully separate the blood vessels of the AVM and block the feeding arteries one by one. The core of the AVM (nidus) is then removed, and the surrounding brain tissue is protected with minimal or no damage to the brain tissue. In removing the nidus, the AVM's draining vein is blocked off and cut. What's left is a small cavity in the brain where the AVM was located, and all the blood vessels coming in and going out of the AVM are thoroughly sealed so there can't be any post-operative bleeding. The blood vessels in the AVM are abnormal, unnecessary blood vessels and don't serve any purpose. They can be removed without disturbing the normal circulation of the brain.

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