On the Road to Recovery with Gamma Knife
Congenital Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM)
Donna was unaware of the arteriovenous malformation (AVM) she had since birth. In her early forties, her frequent, mild headaches turned to nightmarish migraines.
“I just couldn’t function. Sometimes my husband would have to stay home from work with me. He was very scared. So was I,” Donna recalls.
The cause of her debilitating headaches was uncovered during a yearly eye exam, when her optometrist noted problems with the optic nerve. Her internist ordered an MRI, which revealed the AVM.
A defect in the circulatory system, an AVM is a tangle of arteries and veins in the brain. The neurological damage builds slowly over time. Donna’s neurosurgeon recommended noninvasive treatment with Gamma Knife®.
Donna’s AVM shrunk noticeably over the first two months and then stubbornly remained the same for the next two years. Just past her two-year follow-up, the AVM had shrunk to a pinpoint.
“I’ve got my life back,” Donna says. She again enjoys camping with her husband in their fifth-wheel trailer, baking and gardening.