I had a seizure about a month ago and was taken to the emergency room. They did a MRI and found that I have a venous angioma on the left side of my brain. I haven't been able to get an appointment with a neuosurgeon because I am on Medicaid and not many specialists will take Medicaid patients. I constantly have a headache, dizzy and sick at my stomach. I don't know what to do or who to contact. I have gone to my Medical Doctor and he said he is trying to find a Neuosurgeon that will take Medicaid but so far we have only found one and the appointment isn't until November 14, 2007. It is June, 2007. Is this a serious situation or should I consider this a thing that is nothing to worry about. Thank you.
I am happy to address the questions that you pose, although it is important that you recognize that my impression is based entirely on the information you have provided in your posting and is by no means a substitute for an office visit with a neurologist. Diagnosis is contingent on detailed history and physical exam and as such, the following information should be considered solely for educational purposes.
To start off, one important detail to clarify is exactly what is meant by “venous angioma.” Technically speaking, venous angiomas are anatomic variants in the brain’s venous system. In the vast majority of cases, the venous pathways are separated by normal brain tissue and despite the abnormal appearance, these veins behave similar to normal veins from a physiologic perspective. This distinction is important to recognize as other vascular malformations- cavernous malformations, arteriovenous malformations (AVM’s), and capillary telangiectasias- do not have normal physiologic responses and are thus more prone to complications such as bleeding and “venous strokes.” Isolated venous angiomas are in the grand scheme of things, often benign and may only be recognized incidentally on brain imaging done for some other reason. Complications of venous angiomas are rare but include bleeding and thrombosis (i.e. clotting). There have been some reports of seizure in isolated cases, however to date, there is no firm data associating seizure with venous angioma. On the other hand, AVM’s have well-documented associations with hemorrhage, seizure, and stroke and thus pose a more imminent threat.
One must realize that while venous angiomas are very often benign, as many as 30% of patients have associated AVM’s, cavernous malformations, or capillary telangiectasias, all of which carry a higher morbidity/mortality. Although venous angiomas are readily identified on MRI, some of the smaller vascular malformations may be difficult to identify on run-of-the-mill MRI sequences and more sensitive testing such as CT angiography or conventional angiogram may be required. In general, a venous angioma alone may not be a good indication for surgery based on low morbidity, whereas venous angioma in association with some other type of vascular malformation may warrant surgical treatment.
Because of your symptoms which include seizure, headache, dizziness, and nausea, I would urge you to at least see a neurologist (if not able to see a neurosurgeon) who can review the details of your case and could better determine the acuity of your situation. If your neurologist identifies any “red flags,” he or she may be able to pull some strings to get you in to see a neurosurgeon much sooner. Thank you very much for your questions; although it is difficult for me to give you concrete answers without having seen you in clinic, I hope that I have at least provided you with some useful information.
Make sure you are placed on some anti-seizure medications. And if you are, make sure the dosage is correct and is not making you sick. A true venous angioma may or may not need to be treatd by a neurosurgeon but you should have a consultation just in case. Don't rush to do surgery until you hear all sides of the story -- talk to a neurologist too.
It's hard when you have Medicaid but every major clinic has a Medicaid clinic as well -- ask around and see if you could be seen in one of them, make sure you are seen by a senior physician.
My name is Melissa Smith, and I'm from South Mississippi. I just found out a few weeks ago that I have a Venous Angionma. I was put in the hospital for seizures, and the inpatient doctor did a MRI. This is when they found the tumor. The nero-doc on call said that it was nothing to worry about, and sent me home with Xanez and other meds...You see thats why I went to the ER in the first place cause I was put on these meds by a local doc: Xanex(2 mg for twice a day, Prozac (60 mg), and Neurontin(100 mg 4 times a day). I felt as if i was drunk all the time, and I started having seizures for the first time in my life.The doc I am seeing now has taken me off all my meds except Loritab 10 for my headaches. He is consulting with a neuro- doc now to see what our next step will be. You see I have two great boys, and this scares me every minute of every day.I have headaches all the time(some worse than others),I stay sick to my stomach, and I am still having seizures.I am angry at the other doctors for not taking this seriously. I dont have insurance, and I feel that this may be the reason why this was treated so lightly.My question to you is this serious, and should I be worried.I feel as if I'm loosing my mind literally.I forget things that should come natural to me. The tumor is on the right side of my brain.Does this cause memory loss? Thank you for taking the time to answer my ??????
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