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Arteriovenous malformations are expressed through abnormal artery to vein connections. Although these vascular malformations are most commonly associated with the spinal cord and brain, arteriovenous malformations can occur anywhere in the body. The condition leads to blood bypassing tissue as it normally would, which may result in premature cell death and nerve damage. In some cases, increased blood flow will also cause arteriovenous malformations to become larger and pose even greater risks to health.

When arteriovenous malformations are present in the brain, there is a significant risk of bleeding from compromised blood vessels bursting. If you or your child are experiencing neurological problems including seizures, impaired motor skills or speech, headaches or unexplained bouts of weakness, it is important to pursue a diagnosis to rule out serious issues such as arteriovenous malformations.

Arteriovenous Malformations Treatment

Patients who have been diagnosed with or are at risk of having arteriovenous malformations require periodic monitoring at the very least. Where arteriovenous malformations are identified in the brain or spinal cord, removal is often complicated by proximity to nerve tissue. If you are diagnosed with arteriovenous malformations in various areas of the body, a combination of treatment options and care are commonly recommended.

At the Vascular Birthmark Center we can evaluate, diagnose and treat arteriovenous malformations in many cases. Dr. Greg Levitin will carry out the evaluation at our office and discuss the potential implications of removing arteriovenous malformations. One of the main concerns with surgery is the risk of damage to nerve tissue, especially when malformations are located around the face and neck.

Dr. Levitin uses a number of advanced tools, including an intraoperative nerve monitoring system, which under his expert hands can reduce the risk of facial nerve damage. Most centers will warn of up to a 50% chance of nerve damage occurring as a result of surgery. However, with the same procedure carried out by Dr. Greg Levitin of the Vascular Birthmark Center, it carries less than a 1% risk.

Working with Specialists

The treatment of arteriovenous malformations may require visiting a number of specialists, which can become especially stressful for children. As well as treating the condition itself, there are complications which can affect speech and learning. Your child may need help with learning difficulties, ADHD and visual impairment among other things. Coordinating care will make all the difference, and the Vascular Birthmark Center is here to assist you in any way that we can.

If you are finding it difficult to determine which resources and support are best for your child’s specific needs, feel free to discuss these issues with Dr. Greg Levitin during consultation or while your child is being evaluated. With the right care, arteriovenous malformations are manageable in most cases.

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Our Patient Reviews
The Vascular Birthmark Center: Gregory M. Levitin, MD

4.8 / 5.0

Based on 27 reviews

Abril M.

Dr. Levitin is very knowledgeable, compassionate and professional. Five years ago, I needed to find information about a birth mark that my newborn daughter started to grow a couple days after birth. I was afraid, I did not feel like I got any clear information about it through my insurance; also, they did not offer any course of treatment for it. I started to look for information, the birthmark was growing each day, information was scarce and I just got more scared. Finally, I found a video in Youtube from a grandmother who was very grateful after finding treatment for her grand daughter through The Birthmark Foundation. It was a huge blessing to me and my family. I found Dr. Levitin, I contacted him thinking he probably would not even answer. I was wrong, he kindly answered promptly, got in touch with me and soon he had a plan : ) I went to see him at the Birthmark Center in Los Angeles. He explained everything in a way that it was so clear to understand, no question I made was insignificant and his answers were each very informative. I really never have had an experience with a doctor who explains and speaks in such a way. I left his office knowing that my daughter was in the best hands and the best care. I first thank God for the Birthmark Foundation, a great organization with the highest quality of doctors. Also, a very special thanks to Dr. Levitin for all his help and kindness, for listening to my concerns and answering each and every question. And last, but no least, to the Birthmark Foundation Center in Los Angeles : ) I hope many children can find help/care in this place as I found it for my daughter. Thank you forever.

Ryan E.

I will be telling tales of the good doctors compassion till time comes to an end. Because of Dr Levitin, I have more confidence in my every day life. He was fast, knowledgeable, precise and all with a disarming sense of humor. Two thumbs up!

Carla M.

I wanted to show you how much better Hailey's tongue looks and let you know her speech has already improved so much!!! Her speech teacher is thrilled!!!! Thank you so much for everything you did for her. You are an excellent surgeon with a great bedside manner- we are forever grateful to you!!! We are so appreciative!

Danielle L.

we are forever grateful for Dr. Levitin. My daughter Lena had surgery to remove her hemangioma that was located on her forehead at just 6 month old. she healed beautifully and we couldn't be happier with how minimal her scar is, even almost 4.5 years later. Dr. Levitin is caring, compassionate, and such a great doctor/surgeon overall. He had our daughter's best interest and I knew she was in good hands. I highly recommend him any chance I get!


My name is Chris and I was recently treated for an AVM on my forehead by Dr. Gregory Levitin of New York (New York Eye and Ear Infirmary). Thankfully, I live within a few hours of NYC. In brief, I would like to say that Dr. Levitin is very capable doctor with a lot of experience with AVMs. He responds quickly to e-mail, texts, and phone calls. He accepts insurance. He takes a "team approach" and will be your "QB" and involve other specialists as necessary. In my particular case they were Dr. Raj Shrivastava (Mt Sinai) and Dr. Raphael A. Ortiz (Lenox Hill) in NY. I recommend contacting Dr Levitin for a consultation if you suspect you have an AVM. All 3 Drs are just good people. When I spoke to them, they treated me like like an equal. I felt like they were advising me as a close friend or family member. Like many that suffer with AVMs I was at first mis-diagnosed. What was thought to be a just a simple cyst turned out to be an AVM. Surgery to remove the cyst made the AVM about 5x bigger. My treatment entailed a few MRIs and CAT scans to determine what was going on and the treatment plan. This was followed by consultation with the 3 Drs mentioned above and finally a 2-day procedure. On day 1 Dr Ortiz embolized the AVM. On day 2 Dr Levitin and Dr Shrivastava removed the AVM from my skull and put some metal mesh there to fill the "hole". It has been 6-months since the surgery and so far I have not had any recurrence. In honor of Vascular Birthmark Awareness Day and to thank these Drs for all they have done for me, I just want to give everyone a solid reference. Finding the right doctor for this type of stuff makes all the difference.

Valle S.

I just discovered this page i have also a birthmark I always experiences bully because of this. I don't know what kind of birthmark is this if it is harmful ? I hope Dr. Levitin notice this message in this way I think he can help me :) :) #DrLevitin

Alicia M.

This year marks the 10th that I contacted VBF for help. Since then I have been under the care of Dr. G Levitin and Dr. R. Ortiz, they are my guardian healing angels! Thanks VBF for not only helping me but also for letting me be a volunteer in the foundation whenever I am needed. A Big Hug to all from MIAMI... Alicia

Alexander G.

Totally positive experience. Dr. Levitin is a great professional. He has diagnosed and treated my nose breathing problem, significantly improving my quality of life. Office staff is very professional. Appointments always kept on time. Strongly recommend.