Aneurysms and AVMs

What is an Aneurysm?

An aneurysm is when a part of a blood vessel bulges and fills with blood. If an aneurysm ruptures, it can cause bleeding, a stroke, brain damage, and sometimes death.

Some aneurysms are hereditary, and some are the result of lifestyle issues. Causes can include:

  • Hardening of the arteries
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes

Women are more likely to get aneurysm than men. African Americans are at higher risk than people of other races.

What is an AVM?

Arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a disorder of the circulatory system. AVMs are made up of snarled tangles of arteries and veins. It’s thought to be congenital (meaning you’re born with it), and often causes no symptoms at all if the AVM doesn’t bleed. If it does bleed, though, which happens in 2-4% of cases, an AVM can cause significant symptoms.

Aneurysms and AVMs that hemorrhage (or bleed) show symptoms much like a stroke. These can include severe headache, nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light, fainting or loss of consciousness and seizures.

Treatment for Aneurysms and AVMs

The Mercy Neurosciences team offer expert treatment and care for aneurysms and AVMs. However, not all aneurysms need to be treated right away. If it is determined your AVM or aneurysm needs to be treated, the most common procedures are endovascular treatment, which is a minimally-invasive surgery, or open brain surgery.

Mercy Health System, in affiliation with the Jefferson Neuroscience Network, offer several additional groundbreaking procedures to treat AVMs.

Find expert care for aneurysms and AVMs

Visit our Find A Physician page to make an appointment with a specialist in aneurysms and AVMs.