Prior to your procedure, you will have a thorough consultation with our Neuroradiology Nurse Case Manager and one of our Interventional Neuroradiologists. All possible treatment options will be reviewed and discussed with you in detail, and all of your questions will be answered. If embolization of your AVM is the treatment of choice for you, Radiology Ltd. will make the necessary arrangements for you.
After registering at the hospital, you will be sent to the Special Procedures Area, where you will have an intravenous (IV) line placed in your arm and a tube (Foley catheter) placed into your bladder. Fluids and pain medication will be given prior to your procedure. You will then be sent to the Interventional Suite in the Department of Radiology, where you will meet with your doctor (Interventional Neuroradiologist) and the nurses and technologists trained in this procedure. For treatment of a brain AVM, you will undergo general anesthesia and will be asleep throughout the procedure. For treatment of a dural AVM, you will be given sedation for relaxation and discomfort but will be conscious during the procedure.
A catheter (small tube) will be advanced into the femoral artery located in your groin region and then advanced into the arteries leading to your brain. An angiogram will then be performed, in which images of the blood vessels are obtained during an injection of iodine-based contrast material. Once the abnormal connection between the artery and vein is well visualized, the embolization will be performed. At the end of the procedure, the catheter will be removed. You will usually be observed in the hospital overnight. Most patients go home the next day and can return to normal activity within a couple of days.
Significant complications related to AVM embolization are uncommon. The primary risks associated with this procedure include:
- Groin hematoma or bruising
- Allergic reaction to the contrast material
For your safety and the protection of others, we do not allow anyone other than patients in our exam rooms.