AVM: Recovering from Surgery

After AVM surgery is completed, the surgeon will talk with your family and friends. You’ll wake up in a recovery area. Then you’ll be moved to a special unit, often an ICU (intensive care unit), where you can be closely watched.

Person lying in hospital bed with bandage on head. Two women standing by bed. Healthcare provider is checking on patient. Family and close friends can see you in intensive care unit.

In the hospital

If you’re in pain, your nurses can give you medicines to help. Special equipment may be used to monitor your condition and help you breathe. When you’re able, you will be moved from the ICU to a hospital room. There, you will continue your recovery.

At home

You may be able to go home as soon as you can walk, eat, and drink normally. You may have an office visit within a week or so after your surgery. At this time, any remaining stitches or staples may be removed. You can expect to meet with your surgeon several times during the first few months. You may also have follow-up imaging tests to ensure your AVM is stable.

When to call the healthcare provider

Call your surgeon at once if you have any of the following:

  • Increased drowsiness

  • Ongoing nausea or vomiting

  • Extreme headaches

  • Seizure

  • Shortness of breath

  • Pain or swelling in a leg

  • Increased muscle weakness

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Burning during urination

  • Redness or drainage from the incision or an IV site

  • Swelling of a leg with or without pain in the calf


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