AVM Survivors Network

Speech problems..?

I am due to have Gamma Knife surgery in Sheffield, I have recently met the neurosurgeon to discuss this at Sheffield. I have been told that my speach could be affected, tempory or even permanent, due to the position of the AVM. Has anyone had or been told anything similar…??

I was told that there was a risk to my speech if I had radiosurgery or a craniotomy and that the risk was pretty much equal for both choices. After my craniotomy, my speech was affected. I lost words, they were just missing from my brain and I struggled to form complete sentences. I could not express myself properly. However I could read aloud perfectly. I was on steroids for brain swelling for a week. Once I came off them, my speech resolved itself.



Any function can be adversely affected by closing off blood vessels, so wherever your AVM is runs the risk of impacting something. As @aliveandkicking says it can be temporary due to swelling etc. I would also say that effects after gamma knife sometimes kick in some months post zap, so it’s an “interesting” journey.

Do you have a date or date-estimate yet? I’m really pleased to find you’ve managed to meet the neuro: It’s been a hard wait for you.

Wishing you the very best,


I had GKS 9 years ago at Sheffield and was told the same thing. The treatment was deemed successful 2 years later and I experienced no speech difficulties at all. They have a great team at Sheffield so you are in good hands.

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Thanks Richard, I’ve seen the neurosurgeon and had a tour of the GK suite and they reckon it will be in the next 6-8 weeks.

Well, let us know when you know.

As @beardt says, Sheffield are the best in the country at gamma knife so all the shizzle you’ve been through with JR and your local GP will not be what you get at Sheffield. They more than know what they are doing.

I can’t wait for it for you!

All the best,


Great to hear this is in the works Mick! I didn;t have a warning about speech but had a great experience with my Neurosurgeon and Gamma Knife crew in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They very clearly loved what they did, and that relayed so well into the patient experience, for lack of a better way to say it! I’m sure Sheffield will be the same. I might get a little beat up for saying that I find some medical folks sometimes are “marvellously unencumbered by humility” and when they don’t have knowledge or understand the patients condition it manifests itself in some strange ways. Often minimizing and downplaying etc. Not sure if that was some of your struggle locally but am confident that won’;t be the case with the Gamma Knife team. So happy for you! Take Care, John.