Medical challenges arising from Cavernous Angioma often begin at the start of the diagnosis.
First of all, it may take the medical staff treating you some time to correctly diagnose you. Several misdiagnoses before receiving an accurate diagnosis could be in store. In the 60’s and 70’s doctors would often diagnose you with MS, as MRI technology did not exist then. Since the invention of the MRI machine, the number of people being properly diagnosed has increased dramatically. Because it is a relatively rare condition, most doctors still have had little, if any experience with Cavernous Angioma (CA). A large number of people discover they have a Cavernous Angioma by accident, while being scanned for something else. People with these lesions are normally asymptomatic, and many of them stay that way for the rest of their lives.
Secondly, there is no real consensus between the specialists. Often a second, third or fourth opinion will give you different opinions and / or answers to your questions. Misinformation is often more common than not, and many new patients or parents of patients are given an incorrect and often frightening prognosis, or simply not given any information at all.
Once diagnosis of a Cavernous Angioms, which has bled or haemorrhaged, is given, the patient often has to deal with a lengthy recovery time. The brain is an organ that heals very slowly. The blood released during a haemorrhage, will be reabsorbed, but very slowly. In a Cavernous Angioma bleed, the blood that leaks out is such a small amount, that a neurologist will call it oozing. A blood product known as hemosiderin forms and stains the surrounding nerve tissue. This hemosiderin remains behind after the blood is reabsorbed. This is the typical black ring surrounding a Cavernous Angioma in a Susceptibility Weighted Image (SWI) on an MRI Scan.
As the brain heals, some symptoms may resolve completely, while others only partly resolve. Some symptoms remain permanently. In every patient the recovery is so different, just as the symptoms from a similar lesion bleed (similar size and location) can be so different.
Some bleeds may leave a person severely disabled and recovery requires many hours of physiotherapy and rehabilitation.
Many Cavernous Angioma patients receive medications to treat the symptoms that persist after a haemorrhage. Those suffering from seizures may require many changes in medications to find the right one to control their seizures. Your family physician may place you on blood pressure medication, even though the scientists have not established a link between high blood pressure and Cavernous Angioma haemorrhage.
Those who undergo surgery to have their Cavernous Angioma resected, may also face the prospect of many hours of physiotherapy and rehabilitation. This of course depends on the neurological damage caused by the surgery.
Patients may need other surgeries to correct medical problems caused by a bleed or resection. For example a person with severe diplopia, may require eye surgery to correct their vision problems.
As medical challenges arise, make sure you contact your family physician or specialist as soon as possible. Discuss your options, and seek out multiple medical opinions before deciding on any major treatment.