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Using general anaesthesia, a surgical opening is made in the skull, called a craniotomy. The brain is gently retracted so that the AVM may be located. Using a variety of techniques such as laser and electrocautery, the AVM is shrunken and dissected from normal brain tissue. The length of stay in the hospital varies between 5-7 days with some short-term rehabilitation. The type of craniotomy performed depends on the size and location of the AVM. The option of surgery also depends on the general health of the patient. The advantage of surgical treatment is that a cure is immediate if all the AVM is removed. Disadvantages include risk of bleeding, damage to nearby brain tissue and stroke to other areas of the brain once removed.