Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care dietary fiber Prevention Outlook Complications Underlying Cause Anatomy

Intestinal AVM Treatment

There is no cure for angiodysplasia. Treatment may not be required if changes to the colon are mild, and there is no evidence for bleeding. Treatment is required if angiodysplasia results in bleeding from the intestinal wall. In order to stop the bleeding, an endoscope is used to find the bleeding sites. The endoscope is a long flexible tube that allows a doctor to view the inside of the intestine. Once the bleeding site is identified, the bleeding vessels can be treated. Rarely, severe bleeding may require surgery to remove the bleeding section of the colon.

Treatment for angiodysplasia may include:

  • Laser cautery for angiodysplasia
  • Angiographic embolization for angiodysplasia:
    • Injecting medication into the arteries that supply blood to bleeding sites, so that a clot forms in the bleeding vessel
  • Surgery for angiodysplasia
    • To remove the bleeding part of the colon
  • Octreotide (Sandostatin)
    • May reduce rate of bleeding from intestinal angiodysplasia
  • Intravenous fluids
  • Blood transfusion:
    • To treat severe blood loss

Intestinal AVM Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of angiodysplasia.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
    • Is surgery an option for me?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • Do I need a special exercise program?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for having this problem again?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Intestinal AVM Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat angiodysplasia:

Continue to Intestinal AVM Home Care

Last Updated: Mar 9, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Intestinal AVM References
  1. Gordon FH, Watkinson A, Hodgson H. Vascular malformations of the gastrointestinal tract. Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2001 Feb;15(1):41-58. [11355900]
  2. Hodgson H. Hormonal therapy for gastrointestinal angiodysplasia. Lancet. 2002 May 11;359(9318):1630-1. [12020519]
  3. Lingenfelser T, Ell C. Gastrointestinal bleeding in the elderly. Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2001 Dec;15(6):963-82. [11866487]
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