Reconstruction after ablative treatment of arteriovenous malformations of the head and neck

J Oral Pathol Med. 2022 Nov;51(10):872-877. doi: 10.1111/jop.13368. Epub 2022 Nov 22.


Arteriovenous malformations are high-flow congenital vascular malformations that are characterized by abnormal connections between arteries and veins across an abnormal capillary bed. The head and neck region is the most common location for extracranial arteriovenous malformations. Due to their highly invasive, aggressive, and locally destructive nature, arteriovenous malformations are difficult to treat, and management through a multimodal, multidisciplinary approach is recommended. The mainstay of treatment is embolization and surgical excision. With the advent of genetic research, adjuvant targeted medical therapy is starting to play a larger role. Successful surgical treatment with or without embolization requires removal of the nidus. Large, focal, or diffuse lesions involving multiple anatomic areas usually necessitates surgical reconstruction. Free tissue transfer has many advantages over more conservative methods with restoration of function and contour. Herein, the authors describe the surgical treatment and reconstruction in head and neck arteriovenous malformations.

Keywords: arteriovenous malformation; embolization; microvascular free flap; reconstruction; surgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arteriovenous Malformations* / surgery
  • Embolization, Therapeutic* / methods
  • Head / blood supply
  • Head / surgery
  • Humans
  • Neck / surgery