Hemangioblastomas are a rare type of tumor, made up of blood vessels, which can occur in the spine or brain. Though hemangioblastomas are noncancerous (benign), they can cause serious neurological impairments and complications.



Generally, people only develop one hemangioblastoma tumor. However, if you have a genetic disorder known as Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease, then you’re predisposed to developing many tumors in your spine and brain over the course of your life.

Symptoms of a hemangioblastoma vary depending on the size and location of your tumor. You may have:

  • Difficulties with balance and coordination
  • Weakness in your legs
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Loss of sensory abilities


Tests can confirm whether you have a hemangioblastoma. Your doctor may recommend:

  • An angiogram, which shows the blood vessels that are connected to the tumor
  • CT and MRI scans
  • Ultrasounds

Find a Specialist

Our search tool can help you find the right neuroscience specialist.

Treatment Options

There are two common treatments for hemangioblastoma:

  1. Conventional surgery: Your surgeon will completely remove the tumor, ensuring it won’t grow back or create additional growths. 
  2. Stereotactic radiosurgery with Cyberknife®: A concentrated dose of radiation is used to destroy the tumor. It’s usually performed as an outpatient procedure over the course of 6 months to a year. This may make sense if your tumor is located in an area that’s difficult to access using conventional surgery.

If you have Von Hippel-Lindau disease, you’ll likely need to be regularly monitored for new tumors.

Find a Specialist

Our search tool can help you find the right neuroscience specialist.

Get a Second  Opinion

Knowing all your options can make life's toughest decisions a little easier.

Your Life Your Health

myAurora makes it easy to manage your care online, anytime.