Arteriovenous malformation (AVM) embolization is a method of treating an AVM before it leads to serious, potentially life-threatening complications. Embolization stops blood flow to the blood vessels of the AVM to relieve symptoms and stop bleeding.
The interventional radiology experts at the University of Miami Health System are experienced in performing this complex procedure.
What is an AVM?
An AVM is an abnormal connection between an artery and a vein. AVMs can be very difficult to treat successfully and can lead to bleeding in or around the brain. The most common symptoms of an AVM are seizures and headaches. AVMs are present at birth (congenital), though symptoms usually don't appear until years later.
Who is a Candidate?
If you’ve been diagnosed with an AVM, your doctor may recommend you undergo AVM embolization.
What to Expect
Prior to the procedure, your specialist may advise you to stop taking aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or blood thinners for some period of time. Typically, the procedure is performed under local anesthesia (numbing at the site of the procedure so you don’t feel pain) and it doesn’t require an overnight stay in the hospital (outpatient procedure).
Once the anesthesia has taken effect, your interventional radiologist inserts a balloon catheter (thin, flexible tube with a tiny balloon at the tip) into the AV graft. Advanced imaging equipment and a viewing monitor allow your doctor to look inside the graft during the procedure. Once the catheter has reached the narrowed or clogged area, they use medicines or a medical device to dissolve the clot quickly. Your doctor will determine which clot-busting technique is best for you and will offer you the most effective results.
After the procedure is complete, your interventional radiologist removes the catheter through the AV graft. Usually, you can go home the same day of surgery. You should avoid lifting anything heavy, exercising, or undergoing any other strenuous activity for 24 hours.
Why Choose UHealth?
Expert care from highly trained interventional radiologists. Our interventional radiologists and radiology specialists are experts in a variety of minimally invasive procedures — everything from treatments to clear blocked blood vessels to advanced cancer therapies like NanoKnife®.
Leading-edge imaging care in South Florida. Our doctors are also researchers discovering new ways to improve diagnosis and treatment. That means you can get some of today’s most promising advancements through clinical trials. You benefit from the latest developments that are fast-tracked from the lab to the bedside.
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