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

It’s part of Norton Neuroscience Institute’s goal to care for the whole person, not just the condition.

  • Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Centers offer ways to improve your access to care, provide valuable information on managing your disease and address your quality of life issues. The Norton Healthcare Foundation funds this important service, so patients don’t need to pay.
  • Dedicated patient navigators can help schedule follow-up appointments, coordinate prescription assistance, create customized diet plans and provide guidance on disability benefits, housing, financial and employment concerns and more.
  • Patients can access support groups, exercise classes and other educational events to connect with others and learn how to make the most of life while managing a neurological condition. 
  • Access an on-demand video library of educational content across a variety of condition-related topics is available.
  • We want to help prevent illness. Get help quitting smoking and learn the signs of stroke.
  • Communicate with your provider, manage appointments, refill prescriptions and more anytime from a computer or mobile device with a free Norton MyChart account.

A Louisville Leader in Neurological Care

More patients from Louisville and Southern Indiana seek their neurology and neurosurgery care from Norton Neuroscience Institute’s nationally recognized specialists than any other providers in the area.

Your Norton Neuroscience Institute medical provider has the expertise, experience, diagnostic tools and sophisticated treatments to provide care tailored to your needs.

  • More than 75 medical, surgical and research specialists are dedicated to providing innovative care to those with brain, spine and nervous system conditions.
  • Advanced, minimally invasive neurosurgery equipment can speed your recovery and minimize pain.
  • Multidisciplinary clinics provide easy access to care in one convenient appointment for your neurological condition, with specialists in oncology, cardiology, orthopedics and behavioral health.
  • Norton Healthcare’s four adult-service hospitals in Louisville are certified by DNV, recognizing excellence and expertise in stroke care.
    • Norton Brownsboro Hospital is recognized as a Comprehensive Stroke Center.
    • Norton Audubon Hospital and Norton Hospital are Primary Stroke Centers.
    • Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital is an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital.
  • Norton Neuroscience Institute is at the forefront of neuroscientific research. As investigators on numerous trials, our physicians contribute to groundbreaking studies and publications in peer-reviewed journals. Also, patients may be eligible to take part in these experimental treatments.
    Learn more about current neuroscience clinical trials and studies.
  • The American Heart Association Get With the Guidelines stroke care program has recognized all four of Norton Healthcare’s adult service-hospitals in Louisville for exceeding national averages in getting patients in the door and administering lifesaving treatment to restore blood flow to the brain.
  • Norton Neuroscience Institute’s multiple sclerosis (MS) program has been designated a Center for Comprehensive MS Care by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
  • The National Association of Epilepsy Centers has recognized Norton Neuroscience Institute as a Level 4 Epilepsy Center, providing the highest level of medical and surgical evaluation and treatment for patients with complex epilepsy.
  • Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center navigators help educate patients and their families about new diagnoses, available treatments and ways to manage their disease.
  • We are listed by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of 100 great neurosurgery and spine programs.

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