Arteriovenous Malformation Treatments
UPMC neurosurgeons may recommend a combination of surgical and non-surgical approaches to treat arteriovenous malformations.
UPMC offers three treatment options for AVMs, giving patients the best chance for a cure.
Surgery: Microsurgical Resection
Some AVMs can be treated by microsurgical resection, where a doctor will:
- Perform a small craniotomy
- Use a microscope to guide the complete removal of the AVM
- Coagulate any feeding arteries
Gamma Knife® radiosurgery
Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a painless treatment that uses hundreds of highly focused radiation beams to target tumors and lesions within the brain, with no surgical incision.
Gamma Knife treatment is a minimally invasive management option especially for deep-seated and high surgical risk AVMs. It can be used as the primary treatment or following surgery or embolization to treat any remaining AVM.
As the nation's leading provider of Gamma Knife procedures, UPMC has treated more than 12,000 patients with tumors, vascular malformations, pain, and other functional problems.
Endovascular embolization is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the threading of a small catheter or tube through a blood vessel in the groin, which is then navigated to blood vessels in the brain to block blood flow.
Small coils or detachable silicon balloons are guided through the arteries to stop the abnormal blood flow to the AVM.