Met with my neurosurgeon today, and it is crunch time. He told me I can choose between undergoing a Craniotomy or Stereotactic Radiosurgery. He explained that there are over 20 types of SRS. It would not be Gamma Knife or Proton beam, it would be Brainlab SRS. He said I had a 90% chance of a successful treatment with Brainlab SRS given the size and location. I have an unruptured AVM Grade I closest to the language area of my brain. He explained that the risk of deficits to my language from either treatment was minimal, but less so from the SRS. He said my risk of seizures from either treatment would be 1%. (These statistics are personal to my individual situation and not generic)
His recommendation was that I undergo SRS, but that it was my decision which treatment to pursue. My logical side says to choose SRS, and not to stress about having a bleed during the wait period. However, I already suffer with stress and anxiety so I’m not sure how realistic this is for me. I am also nervous that they start interfering it whilst it is still inside my head, and that symptoms may randomly appear several months later. My emotional side says choose Craniotomy and get it fully obliterated and over and done with now and move forward in my life. I have already mentally prepared myself for a craniotomy, the prospect no longer completely terrifies me. But the length of recovery time may be an issue for me.
I am so fortunate to have a choice. With either option, I will have a top neurosurgeon, very experienced. I trust them and have full confidence in their opinions and abilities. I will lose all of my medical coverage in a few months time so I have to act quickly.
I would love to hear from anyone who has had the Brainlab SRS? Did you have any side effects? Where you put on any medication after? How many treatments did you have to undergo? Was it successful?
If you have undergone other types of SRS for unruptured AVMs, how did you cope with waiting up to two years for results as to whether or not it was successful?
If you had a craniotomy for an unruptured AVM, how long was your recovery period? When were you able to return to work?