Head & Neck Embolization for Malformations, Tumors & Fistula Treatment

Head & Neck Embolization for Malformations and Tumors

An arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a congenital defect between the arteries and veins.   The condition affects the connection between these blood vessels, and disrupts the flow of blood between them.  Although this defect can occur anywhere, AVMs are most common in the brain or spine.  You may not know that you have an AVM in your brain until you experience symptoms. A ruptured AVM is a medical emergency.  Common symptoms for AVMs found in the brain include seizures, headaches, memory lapse, confusion, hallucination or dementia. The cause of a brain AVM is unknown, but researchers believe most brain AVMs emerge during fetal development.   

Catheter Embolization Treatment

A catheter is introduced through the groin and navigated into an artery in the neck. Through this catheter, or series of catheters, a very small microcatheter is directed into an artery which feeds the AVM.  This artery and parts of the Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) are embolized (plugged up) with a glue-like substance.  We usually perform this procedure under general anesthesia. This type of treatment is attractive because it is minimally invasive.