Arteriovenous malformations(AVMs)of the brain are potentially curable lesions that otherwise present significant risk of disability or death to the patient. A variety of therapeutic options are available for managing AVMs including microsurgical resection, embolization, stereotactic radiosurgery or a combination of these treatments. The primary advantages of neurosurgical resection include immediate and almost certain cure, immediate elimination of the risk of hemorrhage, and the absence of longterm delayed complications. Surgery, however, is more invasive than other therapeutic options and is associated with the potential for perioperative morbidity or mortality. Preoperative and intraoperative complications in the surgical management of AVMs of the brain are discussed along with techniques for management and avoidance. By carefully assessing surgical complications, neurosurgeons are better able to reduce risk and improve the outcome for their patients.