Cyber knife / radiosurgery for facial AVM?

I haven’t been able to find much information about treating facial AVMs with radiosurgery as the only means of treatment (i.e., not as a complementary treatment combined with other types of surgery.)

Does anyone know if this is possible?

Many thanks.


I have to say I agree with you: I don’t remember reading stories about people using cyber knife or even gamma knife for a facial AVM.

From what I can glean, radiotherapy is often used for neurovascular interventions where other approaches are difficult: e.g. where the AVM is seated deep in the brain and resecting it (excising it) would involve a lot of collateral damage to brain tissue. Obviously, a catheter embolization procedure can only access the vessels that are wide enough to admit the catheter, so radiotherapy is also often used for smaller vessels.

I’m guessing you’re thinking that radiotherapy is suitable in a facial situation because of the lack of incision, no visible scar, but I’d be guided by the professionals as to how to attack it. For facial AVMs, I’ve seen bleomycin sclerotherapy mentioned a few times recently and alcohol embolization historically mentioned a lot.

I would definitely take the views of great neurosurgery practices as to your wife’s options and the efficacy of different approaches. I expect that approaches are evolving all the time.

Hope this might help but I also hope anyone who has had a radiotherapy approach might add.

Best wishes,


Thank you, Richard. I only started my research on this five days ago, so every bit of information is incredibly helpful. My wife’s concern is not regarding cosmetics, but rather the need for anesthesia and surgery in general, both of which she’s endured multiple times in the past for other conditions and does not recover from well. Thank you for mentioning sclerotherapy. This is an option we haven’t explored yet.

Thanks again!

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Hi. I’m with Richard on this one in not having seen radiosurgery other than the brain. I had Gamma knife, but that was due to the fact it was the least risk due to location. If I had to take a guess at the most common treatment option I have seen on this form for non neuro AVMs it would be embolization.

I would certainly follow the Drs. advice, and if not really comfortable seek a second opinion. If the primary recommendation is surgery, is there an anesthesia option that may reduce effects? It might be interesting to know what was utilized when she had the trouble and perhaps an option exists for a different combination? That I guess would be a conversation with an anesthesiologist. I took a little leap of faith based on your question that this may be a recommendation for treatment, if not, please disregard. My best to your wife and you, John.

Thank you for the input, JD12. Embolization does seem to be the most common surgery for facial AVMs, just from what my brief research has shown. Hopefully we’ll be able to consult with a doctor in the coming weeks. I’ll let you know what we learn.

Thanks again.