Evaluation of Vascular Malformations of the Brain

Many people don’t experience symptoms if they have an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), dural arteriovenous fistula (DAVF), or other vascular malformation of the brain. For those that do, the symptoms can range from chronic headache to seizures. The concerning finding is a hemorrhage or bleeding stroke.

At UT Southwestern, we offer both initial evaluations and second opinions. As a major referral center for brain and spine disorders, our brain vascular malformations team offers a broad range of capabilities, including minimally invasive brain surgery treatments. One of our hallmarks is providing patients with a full range of options, based on their circumstances.

Every neurosurgeon on our brain malformations team has specialized fellowship training in the management of what are called “cerebrovascular disorders.” Many of our physicians have dual training in both neurosurgery and radiology. This means the expert who evaluates these disorders is also the surgeon who will perform interventional treatment such as open surgery, endovascular embolization, or stereotactic radiosurgery. Learn more about these treatments.

Whether you’re seeking a diagnosis or a treatment plan, it’s our goal to see each patient as quickly as possible, often the same day that you request an appointment, and provide an evaluation of the situation before you leave that day.

What to Expect

If you’ve had a recent CT scan or MRI scan of your brain, it’s important that you bring those images to your evaluation appointment. We may perform additional imaging tests if the ones you have aren’t sufficient, but only if it’s absolutely necessary.

We use imaging technology to take detailed images of your brain that will help us identify the location and size of the vascular malformation as well as the effect it is having on the rest of your brain. Whenever possible, we strive to identify and minimize the risk of bleeding from a vascular malformation.

Once the vascular malformation has been identified, an angiogram may be performed to help us visualize the blood vessels and flow of blood in the brain. This may be performed before treatment begins, but isn’t normally done during your first appointment.  

Each of our specialists has at least a decade of experience evaluating and treating vascular malformations of the brain, including some of the rarest cases. Physicians throughout the state refer their cases to us for evaluation and treatment because of our familiarity with these disorders and the comprehensiveness of our offerings.

Request an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with a vascular malformations specialist at UT Southwestern’s facilities in Dallas, or to learn more about our services, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.