Neurosurgery

Surgery for Cerebral Vascular Malformations

AVM is an asymptomatic condition. For the correct revision of the cerebral vasculature you will have to go to a specialised centre that has the most advanced CT or MRI scanners.

The most accurate diagnostic test is one which will help assess the aspects related to arteriography and brain catheterization. In Spain you will find a wide network of hospitals where you can go for both diagnosis and subsequent surgery if necessary.

Treatment characteristics

Cerebral Vascular Malformations are a collection of abnormally growing blood vessels, usually in the form of a nest or ball, that form in the brain.

Most of these malformations are asymptomatic so they are only detected in a brain scan (a CT scan, an MRI or an arteriogram) or after a brain haemorrhage although they can sometimes cause headaches, weakness, confusion…

There are several possible treatments depending on the severity of the condition.

Surgical removal (for larger malformations)

Embolisation (for medium-sized malformations or in preparation for surgical excision)

Stereotactic/stereotactic radiosurgery (for small malformations and difficult access)

Stereotactic/stereotactic radiosurgery is performed by means of different systems such as the Gamma Knife or Cyberknife and consists of applying ionising radiation to the lesion in order to eliminate it. This treatment may require between 2 and 7 hours depending on the system used. 

By means of endovascular embolisation, the blood flow of the malformation is cut off by means of a catheter inserted through the femoral vein to the malformation in the brain, through which a product is “injected” to seal the vessel.

As for surgical removal, the brain malformation is resected through a craniotomy.

Depending on the complexity of the malformation, the surgery can last 5 or 6 hours and is performed under general anaesthetic. 

After undergoing surgery, you will spend one night in the ICU, after which you will be taken up to the ward, where you will remain for approximately 5 days.

The result in all cases is the elimination of the malformation, avoiding major problems such as hemorrhages or brain injury.

The recovery time in Spain will depend on the type of treatment you undergo but can range from three weeks to six weeks.

Relevant information

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Treatment itinerary

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After treatment

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