Surgery or radiation

I just met with my neurosurgeon he told me all the pros and cons of surgery and irradiation therapy. The problem is my avm which is 2.5cm x 1.9cm is near my optic nerve. I’m concerned about visual problems from the radiation and then the risk of bleeding until it heals…I have a lot to think about. At least with surgery it’s gone and I don’t have to worry about it.

hey there my avm is located within my brain stem i looked into surgical removal or embolization but due to the local its in operable surgicallly weithout causing more neurloical damage or worse' death. I had radio cyber knife surgery back in april in two days of 1-1/2 hr treatments the first day was pretty hard( head aches nausea, extreme dizziness{like being wasted{) the second day was jus alot of fatigue ive had no major set backs until recently where my brain was swelling so i did a week regiment of the steroid decadrone(?) to bring it down I used a low carb diet to try and cut down carbs and extra vitamin c (it helped a lot). So far since cycling the only very bad side effect was a bad acne breakout on my back; but yet again i made sure to keep a strict diet to not promote the rapid weight gain that (usual) comes w/steroids.

I hope this advice and/or anecdote helps your decision

Its a long road but the value of life is def worth the trek

Good Luck and God Bless

Scott D Harris

Autumn Diver

Hi Mike. Unfortunately, there is no great way to get rid of an AVM. I always tell people get more than one opinion. Then, whatever you decide to do…we will support your decision!

It is a tough decision! Your are in my thoughts/prayers!

I've had 3 Gamma Knife radiation treatments for my AVM--it was much safer than surgery. There was more risk of me losing my left-field of vision & possibly some left side motor deficits with surgery than there is of my having a bleed while waiting for the GK to shrink my AVM.

I've also had a craniotomy to clip 2 aneurysms. My 3 GK treatments combined were WAY easier than the crani.

My 3rd GK was not quite 5 months ago. (Almost exactly one year after the first one.) My MRI from that day shows that the AVM is already shrinking. :)

I found another member who likes Dr. Quigley too…
You have a lot decisions to make. Please keep us posted!

Only you and your family can make the right decision but you will be in my prayers. God bless

Hi Mike! There are pros and cons to each procedure yet we are so Blessed to have these treatments now available to us to treat AVMs!!! Through your thought process and futher discussions with your medical team, please know that whatever treatment you decide to proceed with will come with pros and cons BUT the wonderful miracle with these treatments is that they will, with time, destroy your AVM so that you will not have to worry about bleeding or this best causing you future harm.

Praying that you will be guided to the decision that is best for you, my friend!


Radiation treatment makes it more safe usually to do the surgery a couple years down the road. My surgery was 9 years later after some bad reactions to the gamma knife. It took 9 years for the gamma knife to cause issues. So I ended up having both procedures. Things to consider.


I was given a choice of either surgery or radiation for my AVM. My neurosurgeon suggested surgery as the avm was approx. 2cm and operable. Radiation seemed to be riskier as it has to work every time and until it is eliminated, there is the chance that the avm will bleed again.

I went with surgery and the avm is gone but I was left with double-vision, something my neurosurgeon didn't think would happen. I plan to have eye-muscle surgery at the end of Nov. and that should correct the 2x-vision. I would, considering where your avm is, ask about possible vision issues and how they may be corrected.

I would lean towards surgery as the avm would be removed and you don't have to worry about it. Radiation, in my opinion, is riskier and until it is successful, you would have to worry about it. Good luck.