Cavernous Angioma

A cavernous angioma is a noncancerous mass made up of blood vessels. The tumors can appear in the brain, brainstem or spinal cord.

Overview

Symptoms

Cavernous angiomas often cause no symptoms, but if they grow large enough to press on the brain or spinal tissue, symptoms may include:

  • Numbness or weakness
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Visual disturbances
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures
  • Headaches

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of a cavernous angioma will begin with your doctor performing a physical exam and discussing your symptoms. Your doctor may order brain mapping or imaging tests, such as an MRI, to look for signs of an abnormality and determine the best treatment options.

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Treatment Options

Dr. Amin Kassam, Aurora’s Vice President of Neurosciences, explains the Expanded Endonasal Approach.

Depending on your symptoms, as well as the size and location of the tumor, your doctor may recommend watchful waiting or surgery. 

Surgical options include:

  • Open brain surgery, where the brain is reached by opening the skull.
  • Brain mapping technology, a minimally invasive procedure to access the tumor through a dime-sized narrow channel, or port.
  • The Expanded Endonasal Approach (EEA), a minimally invasive procedure in which the tumor is removed through the nasal passages, resulting in no incisions, a shorter hospital stay and faster recovery than traditional brain surgery.

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