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Craniotomy for Excision of a Cerebral Arteriovenous Malformation
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A craniotomy is surgery to open your skull and operate on your brain. You may need a craniotomy if you have an arteriovenous malformation (AVM). An AVM is an abnormal connection between the arteries and veins in your brain. An AVM may be found anywhere in your brain. You may need a craniotomy if your AVM causes your brain to bleed. You may also need a craniotomy if you have symptoms such as seizures, headaches, or speech problems.
- Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
- Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
- Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell your healthcare provider if your pain does not decrease.
- Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Your healthcare provider may do tests to make certain that your AVM was completely removed. He will also decide when it is time to remove your stitches and bandages. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
For more information:
- Brain Injury Association
1608 Spring Hill Road
Vienna , VA 22182
Phone: 1- 703 - 761-0750
Phone: 1- 800 - 444-6443
Web Address: http://www.biausa.org
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda , MD 20824
Phone: 1- 301 - 496-5751
Phone: 1- 800 - 352-9424
Web Address: http://www.ninds.nih.gov
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have a fever or chills.
- Your incision is swollen, red, or leaking pus.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- Your stitches come apart.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and have trouble breathing.
- You have chest pain. You may have more pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You may cough up blood.
- You have any of the following signs of a stroke:
- Numbness or drooping on one side of your face
- Weakness in an arm or leg
- Confusion or difficulty speaking
- Dizziness, a severe headache, or vision loss
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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.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.