I know this may seem like a weird question coming from a person who has had 2 emblozations and 2 gamma knives and has been getting treatment since March 2007. But the area of the avm that was emblozaized. Does it just stay there and the glue is suppose to keep it blocked forever?????? Does this mean that one day the glue can not be there anymore? I have asked my dr and havent really recieved a direct answer. So again my question is the blocked area of the avm with the glue is that always going to be there, and not be touched by the gamma knife?? Any advice or help would be beyound thankful.....I will ask my dr again next month but I;m just super nervous over that part of my avm.
Thanks for all responses!
Andrea, it is my understanding that glue is sometimes not a permanent solution. From all that I have read, the body can break down the glue and eventually it becomes ineffective in blocking the vessel.
I don't understand why they do it before Gamma but I just would think it is to lower the blood volume that is passing thru the AVM and therefore lower the risk of a bleed. (?) Also if you imagine your AVM vessel's shrinking after having the Gamma, it kind of sounds good that they'd shrink tight around the glue deposits...?? Maybe with your AVM being to large, they had to embolize some of it to cover the whole area. Again, I am just speculating....and trying to make you feel better because I don't want you to be worried!!!!!
Thinking of you.
PS. I also don't know why your doctor hasn't at least tryed to explain this to you??
Andrea, my understanding is that the embolization of an AVM is to prevent the AVM from bleeding. AVMs are fragile and more likely to bleed, and blood on the brain is bad (such as a stroke). The glue is used to block off the flow of blood into the AVM, or a section of the AVM, thus reducing the chances of a bleed, and denying its blood flow may assist in “killing off” the tangle or a portion of the AVM tangle. The glue hardens very quickly when injected into the feeder vein, and it is also a “non-reactive” substance so it should not affect your brain tissue (I have 3 titanium clips in my brain, I guess also “non-reactive”). If the blood flow is blocked, the AVM that feeds from that blood source should shrink, like turning off a garden hose (imagine the fauset is the feeder vein). Embolizations are often done as a preliminary step before cranial surgery (or I guess gama knife, which I am less familiar with). With less or no blood flowing through the tangled malformation of vessels, the surgeon can more easily remove the AVM without hurting surrounding brain matter. There is less risk of the AVM bleeding out while being removed. Do ask your doctor again, but I don’t believe that the glue that has been used in your embolism is hurting you, and that areas done should now be less likely to bleed. Many AVMs require several embolizations, done in stages, which sounds like what you are having done. I hope this helps, and that your doctor can provide a clear answer at your next appointment. Take care!
I think Sharon and Joy have explained it the same way I understand it. I will add that my neurosurgeons told me that when the embo doesn't shrink the AVM the glue can break down over time, but it sounded like that was something that would a fairly long period of time to happen. Thus they told me that my AVM and aneuryms could have to be re-embolized more than once during my lifetime.
Thank you for responding to my post! It was all very helpful and I cant wait to ask the Doctor again on July 11th for more info!!! Again thank you so much