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Surgery advice

So I had an appointment with my neurosurgeon to discuss my last angiogram today. A lot of my AVM has gone now thanks to my gamma knife treatment in 2012, however there is still a small portion left.

My options now are 1) more gamma knife surgery (the benefit being minimal risk) or 2) open head surgery (the benefit being that the AVM will be gone right away).

I've not had conventional brain surgery before, so I'm just asking those of you out there who have had it; what was your recovery time from the surgery? Did it make you worse off? Are you glad you had it?


3 Replies


I had a brain haemorrhage caused by and AVM that was deep my brain in 2006

The only option is for me was the gamma knife surgery which I had two courses of,

first course of treatment got rid of a lot of the AV I am leaving a small portion Behind

I then had to repeat the Gamma knife radiosurgery in 2011 which completely obliterated the AVM

So finally was discharged from them!

I know the gamma knife surgery is uncomfortable with the metal frame they screw onto your head but it doesn't hurt it just leaves you feeling tired for a few days

Other than a bit of brain swelling I had no other symptoms from the radiosurgery and it completely worked

I definitely wouldn't go under the knife if it can be helped as all the risks involved and will take a long time to recover.

And of course the draw back from the gamma knife surgery is that it can take up to 5 years for it to work

Good luck with what ever u decide to to

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I can't help really Ben as my procedure for a SAH was non-invasive, (coiling of the aneurism using camera via a blood vessel in the groin).

But, for what it's worth, I'm sure I'd opt for the Gamma-knife if faced with that choice. I would never opt for invasive brain surgery unless there were no alternative. There's risk with any surgery as we know, but the risks of permanent damage after open brain surgery are so much greater because of the brain's complex and delicate nature.

It's a great temptation I'm sure, to opt for the 'permanent' fix, but there's surely every chance that the GK method will sort your AVM once & for all. I assume the doctors won't commit to advice one way or the other ?

It gives me a headache just thinking about it ................... hell of a decision for you. xx

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Hi Ben,

You probs remember I had 2 lots of Gamma Knife (radio therapy) to remove my AVM I lived with the AVM from 2008 to 2016. My first session of GK reduced the AVM but it took a second attempt to finally obliterate it

At Sheffield Hallamshire ( I think you go to SH) they told me my AVM was in too difficult an area to operate on. My AVM was deep within the cerrabellum

I didn't get the choice of surgery and if I had I don't know what I would have opted for. I and hubby are great researchers and we read all about Gamma Knife and asked as many questions as we felt necessary before going ahead. im sure you know Ben SH consultants, docs etc... are very happy to help with your questions.

My opinion for what it's worth is talk this over with your family, read and research what you need to. Take on board this forms comments then use all the knowledge gathered to make your decision.

Good luck and keep us informed Ben 😃


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