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Arteriovenous Malformation


An arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is an abnormal connection between arteries and veins. Blood flows too quickly from the arteries and pushes on the walls of the veins. This can damage or weaken the veins and cause them to bulge and get twisted. An AVM that has not burst usually causes no symptoms. If it bursts, blood will leak into surrounding tissue, and may cause a stroke.


Monitor your blood pressure:

Your healthcare provider may want you to check your blood pressure at home. Write down the results and bring them with you to follow-up visits. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about how to take your blood pressure.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.


Your healthcare provider may refer you to physical or occupational therapy. A physical therapist may teach you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain. An occupational therapist may teach you skills to help with your daily activities. Your healthcare provider may refer you to a therapist to work with you if you have trouble swallowing. This therapist has special training to help you learn safer ways to swallow. You will also be taught which foods and liquids are safe to eat and drink.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your blood pressure is higher than you were told it should be.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have any of the following signs of a stroke:
    • Part of your face droops or is numb
    • Weakness in an arm or leg
    • Confusion or difficulty speaking
    • Dizziness, a severe headache, or vision loss
  • You have chest pain that spreads to your arms, jaw, or back.
  • You have trouble breathing.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.