AVM (Arterio Venous Malformations) and treatment through Gamma Knife Radio surgery

Arterio Venous Malformation more commonly known as AVM can be simply explained as the group of blood vessels that are abnormally connected to each other. Though AVM can be present in any part of the body, it is of much significance in brain as it can disrupt normal functioning of the brain and can even be fatal in some cases. The malformation in the brain is such that the capillary bed (very thin blood vessels that connect arteries to the veins) is missing, thereby passing on the high blood pressure that arteries carry directly to the veins. The increase in pressure cause the AVM to enlarge with time and affect the surrounding brain tissues, which may lead to seizures, headaches, and stroke symptoms such as hemiplegia or hemiparesis. They can be found anywhere in the brain, brainstem, white matter or the cortex. AVM is usually detected between the ages of 10 to 30, but sometimes go unnoticed till the age of 50 or even beyond. The patient does not know if he is suffering from AVM until it bursts leading to severe headache, stroke or seizure. The reason why AVMs develop is not known, but most of the patients are born with it- it is most commonly a congenital disorder. The treatment varies with the size and location of the AVM and generally includes surgical resection, endovascular embolization, and stereotactic radio surgery -- all of which might be used either alone or in combination. In the last few decades, stereotactic radio surgery has emerged to be the most preferred form of treatment of AVMs in brain by the neurosurgeons owing to the host of advantage that it offers- especially in the treatment small AVM's that are located in deep structures of the brain that are difficult to reach, or too risky to resect surgically. The procedure involves radiating the malformation by highly precise focused beams of radiation to destroy it. It causes the vessel to slowly clot off until the lesion is finally obliterated. The procedure is done under local anesthesia with oral sedation. The patient is made to lie on a couch with a light weight frame attached to his head. CT or MRI is done with the frame in place so as to pin point the exact site. An angiogram is also done for the treatment of AVM. The actual treatment takes about 15 min to an hour though the planning takes few hours. More than 500,000 patients all across the world have been successfully treated with gamma knife since it offers many advantages which include: • More accurate treatment • Faster treatment and time • Greater patient comfort • The lesion being treated receives a high dose of radiation with minimum risk to nearby tissue and structures. • No anesthesia • Surgery without an incision • The ability to resume normal activities sooner • The absence of an incision eliminates the risk of hemorrhage and infection. • Hospitalization is short, typically an overnight stay or an outpatient surgical procedure. Patients can immediately return to resume their previous activities. With offerings like low costs, highly skilled and experienced doctors, India has now become the most preferred destination for patients seeking gamma knife treatment. The cost of gamma knife in India is fractional as compared to western countries like US, UK or Australia. Indicure is the leading medical tourism company in India which has treated many patients wanting gamma knife treatment from across the world. For more information on gamma knife treatment, visit or write to info@indicure.com 

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