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AVM Specialist

RIA Neurovascular -  - Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery

RIA Neurovascular

Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery & Endovascular Neurosurgical Radiologists located in Englewood near Denver, Colorado

While only around 1% of the population has an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), it's a major contributing factor to stroke. Approximately 50% of people with AVM experience an intracranial hemorrhage that leads to stroke. At RIA Neurovascular, in Denver, Colorado, the board-certified, fellowship-trained neurointerventional surgeons offer expert surgical treatment for AVM to reduce your risk of stroke. Call RIA Neurovascular to schedule a consultation today.


What is an arteriovenous malformation (AVM)?

An AVM is an abnormality in your vascular structure that increases your risk of hemorrhage and stroke. 

Healthy blood flow starts in your heart and lungs where your blood picks up oxygen and nutrients to distribute in your body. The oxygen-rich blood travels through your arteries and into capillaries that allow your body to absorb what it needs. As your blood moves through your capillaries, your blood pressure lowers before it enters your veins to travel back to your heart and lungs.

An AVM connects your artery to your vein, bypassing the capillary network. This puts excessive pressure on your vascular system and increases your risk of a rupture and hemorrhage, which can trigger a stroke.

You can have an AVM anywhere in your body, but they're most often found in the brain and spine. 

What are the signs of an AVM?

An AVM is usually congenital and often doesn't usually cause any symptoms until later in life. Some of the common signs of an AVM include:

  • Headaches
  • Weakness 
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Lightheadedness  
  • Distorted vision
  • Memory problems
  • Speech issues
  • Lack of coordination 
  • Seizures

However, in many cases, an AVM doesn't cause any noticeable symptoms and are identified during angiography or other diagnostic tests for another issue.

How is an AVM treated?

The first step in treating an AVM is a diagnosis. The experienced neurovascular surgeons at RIA Neurovascular often use CT angiography or MR angiography to identify and locate AVM and other vascular abnormalities. CT and MR angiography create detailed images of your vascular system, allowing the expert team to diagnose abnormalities. 

When your AVM has been diagnosed and located, your surgeon creates a customized treatment plan to repair your vascular system. Depending on the complexity of your AVM, your treatment could involve an endovascular embolization procedure to block the abnormal blood vessels and force your blood to follow the correct route through your capillaries. 

However, if your AVM is more complicated, your surgeon may need to plan a schedule of staged treatments and therapies. Staged treatment often includes several types of procedures including radiation therapy, endovascular embolization, including new liquid embolic agents, and surgical removal. 

Call RIA Neurovascular or schedule a consultation online today for expert, personalized diagnosis and treatments for AVM and other vascular abnormalities.