Arteriovenous Malformation Care

The endovascular neurosurgeons at Norton Neuroscience Institute provide comprehensive arteriovenous malformation (AVM) treatment to patients from Louisville and Southern Indiana. Our endovascular neurosurgeons are fellowship trained in advanced endovascular techniques. They can embolize, or block, an AVM to make surgery safer.

What is a Brain AVM?

A brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is an abnormal connection between the arteries and veins in the brain. Although AVMs usually form before birth, symptoms may occur at any age. Brain AVMs have an approximately 4 percent per year risk of bleeding into the brain. AVM bleeding can cause significant neurological deficits; it is even fatal in about 10 percent of cases. AVMs also can irritate the surrounding brain, which can cause seizures and headaches.

AVM Treatment

Most AVMs can be treated using a two-step treatment, stereotactic radiosurgery or conservative therapy.

Two-step treatment

  • Endovascular embolization: A catheter is inserted through a leg artery into the AVM vessels in the brain. The AVM is then completely filled with surgical glue (Onyx), shutting it down from the inside.
  • Surgical resection: Brain surgery is performed through an opening in the skull to remove the AVM. This is much easier and safer if the AVM has already been embolized with Onyx glue.

Stereotactic radiosurgery

A focused beam of radiation is directed at the AVM, which causes shrinkage and closure over a two- to three-year time period.

Conservative therapy

An AVM is closely monitored in rare cases where the risk of treatment exceeds the risks associated with living with the AVM.

AVM Care Tailored to You

AVM treatment options are tailored to individual patients. Patient preference and age, as well as AVM size and location, are important considerations.

A bleeding AVM is a medical emergency. The goal of treatment is to prevent further complications by controlling bleeding and seizures and, if possible, removing the AVM.

Care That’s Focused on You

  • We operate Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center — the area’s only center dedicated to helping you and your family navigate your lives. The Norton Healthcare Foundation funds this important service, so patients don’t need to pay.
  • We have dedicated patient navigators who can help with transportation, schedule follow-up appointments and confirm that you can afford prescriptions.
  • We provide support groups and exercise classes, develop customized diet plans and can help with issues such as access to disability assistance, housing, and financial and employment advice.
  • At Norton Neuroscience Institute, we want to help you get better and well as prevent you from getting sick in the first place. Get help quitting smoking and learn the signs of stroke at Norton Healthcare Prevention & Wellness.
  • Communicate with your provider, manage appointments, refill prescriptions and more anytime from a computer or mobile device with a free MyNortonChart account.

Louisville’s Leader in Neurological Care

More patients from Louisville and Southern Indiana seek treatment from Norton Neuroscience Institute’s nationally recognized neurologists and neurosurgeons than any other provider in the area.

  • We have more than 60 medical, surgical and research specialists dedicated to providing innovative care to those with brain, spine and nervous system conditions.
  • We use advanced minimally invasive neurosurgery equipment that speeds your recovery and minimizes pain.
  • Our multidisciplinary clinics offer easy access to specialists in oncology, cardiovascular, orthopedics,  and behavioral health.
  • Norton Healthcare has the largest network of accredited stroke centers in the area.
    • Norton Brownsboro Hospital’s designation as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Joint Commission and American Stroke Association represents the highest level of care.
    • The Joint Commission also certified Norton Audubon Hospital and Norton Hospital as Primary Stroke Centers and Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital as an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital.
  • Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center navigators help educate patients and their families about new diagnoses, available treatments and managing their disease.
  • We are nationally recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as a Top 100 neurosurgery and spine program.
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