AVM Survivors Network

Surgical Removal of AVM after Gamma Knife treatment?

Hello survivors and friends,
I have a long relationship with my AVM (4-6cm in the right frontal lobe diagnosed in 1989 when I was 7 years old)but I am ready to break up!
I had a bleed last February 2013, then 2 embolizations and Gamma Knife in May 2013. I had another bleed in October 2013. I am seeing new doctors because we moved back to the West Coast and now the option for surgery is on the table. My neurosurgeon says that having gamma knife before surgery is preferable because it makes it easier to remove and they feel confident about the surgery whereas a year ago the Dr's thought surgery was too risky.

Has anyone had successful surgeries post gamma knife? or any related experiences you would like to share?

Thank you in advance for sharing with me.

The way I understand it gamma knife can cause scaring which occludes the AVM either completely or at least partially. Since blood flow either can't go through the AVM or is reduced there is either no risk or less risk of the AVM rupturing. Also with blood diverted away, the vessels that make up the AVM can shrink. With smaller AVMs gamma knife sometimes resolves them entirely. In other cases it will at least reduce the size of the AVM. Occlusion is beneficial as a more stable AVM makes it easier for surgeons

Thank you Rhonda, that was helpful

My ACM was obliterated about 6 months after cyber knife. Mine likely smaller than yours. Any chance for you to get the remainder by gamma or cyber knife rather than surgery?

Heidi, mine is quite large approx 5cm - my radiologist was able to zap all of it in one gamma session but in more than 6 months not much progress in terms of shrinking. There is always the possibility for another gamma session down the line but it's more of a waiting game. Did you have multiple gamma sessions or finally surgery to obliterate the AVM?