A Vascular Malformation – also known as Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) – is a rare, congenital defect of the circulatory system that occurs in fetal development or soon after birth. AVMs can appear anywhere within the body, and are comprised of snarled tangles of arteries and veins. More than 300,000 Americans have AVMs, and many times, the defect will remain asymptomatic throughout an individual’s lifetime. In fact, less than 10 percent of individuals diagnosed with AVM are asymptomatic. Often, less serious symptoms present as a birthmark, a protrusion, pain, progressive nerve deterioration or palsy, a disfiguring mass, tissue ulceration, hemorrhage, impairment of limb function and weakness. Less often, and in the most serious of cases, AVM is linked to debilitating and life-threatening conditions, such as congestive heart failure, epilepsy, stroke, seizure or a brain hemorrhage with devastating neurologic consequences.
Who is Affected by AVM?
AVM symptoms can appear at any age, but are most often noticed when people are in their 20’s, 30’s or 40’s. If AVMs do not become symptomatic by the time people reach their late 40’s or early 50’s, they tend to remain stable and rarely produce symptoms. Trauma, surgery, hormonal influences caused by birth control pills and the hormonal swings during puberty and pregnancy may cause AVMs to change or worsen. Approximately one percent of individuals diagnosed with AVM will die from the defect each year.
Hope for Vascular Malformation Patients
Fortunately, Wayne Yakes, M.D., of the Swedish Vascular Malformation Center has discovered ways to eradicate vascular malformations, and patients throughout the world are seeking his treatment. Learn more about his non-invasive surgical approach.