I'd be that mom in MN.* ;D
The ER was right, you were most likely born with the AVM, most of them are congenital.* In fact, finding the brain AVM the way you did is very common.* The are often found by accident.* The treatment approach can be extremely different depending on which doctor you see, and there are many factors involved with AVM of's the brain...i.e. the size of the AVM, the specific location and it's accessibility, your age, whether or not it is creating symptoms, etc..* I can't say I agree with a doctor who simply told you not to worry about it, if nothing else it should be followed and monitored for changes.* If you are having neurological symptoms...I would definitely seek an opinion from a neurosurgeon or an interventional neuroradiologist.* These symptoms can be a result of bleeding, or an indication that the AVM is creating pressure or irritation somewhere.*
Many doctors familiar with AVM's of the brain will take the conservative approach of monitoring.* Invasive procedures in the brain have their own set of complications that can be far worse than having the AVM itself.* There is always a slight chance of rupture or bleeding, but then again, a doctor familiar with AVM's can assess the malformation to see if it falls into the category of likely to bleed.*
If a doctor thinks intervention is needed at some point, there are a couple of different options depending on several factors such as what area of the brain it is in, and how large it is.* Gamma knife radiation is often used for inoperable AVM's.* Embolization is also used to manage (but not remove or eradicate) AVM's.* Embolization is also used as a predecessor to surgery in large AVM's to help manage the blood flow during the operation.* Surgically removing the AVM is an option also, and is the only way to completely remove it.* If surgically removed, the area of the AVM called the nidus has to be completely removed or the AVM may grow back aggressively.* If this is the treatment suggested, make sure you have the right doctor.
My son Ben has a facial AVM, and 2 AVF's (similar malformation) in his brain.* In our case, the fact that the malformations in the brain were AVF's, meant that we could actually treat the larger one with just coil embolization.* There are several links to articles about AVM's on Ben's website, and as soon I get around to uploading
, I've added a few more links about AVM's and AVF's:
I guess if I were in your situation, I'd start by consulting a good neurosurgeon.