Brain Aneurysm - Treatment

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What is the treatment for brain aneurysm?

Treatment for a symptomatic aneurysm is to repair the blood vessels. Clipping and coiling are two treatment options.

  • Clipping: A neurosurgeon can operate on the brain by cutting open the skull, identifying the damaged blood vessel and putting a clip across the aneurysm. This prevents blood from entering the aneurysm and causing further growth or blood leakage.
  • Coiling: A neurosurgeon or interventional radiologist can thread a tube through the arteries, as with an angiogram, identify the aneurysm, and fill it with coils of platinum wire or with latex. This prevents further blood from entering the aneurysm and resolves the problem.

Both these options have the risk of damaging the blood vessel and causing more bleeding, damaging nearby brain tissue, and causing the surrounding blood vessels to go into spasm; depriving brain tissue of blood supply and causing a stroke.

Prior, during, and after surgery, attention is paid to protect the brain and its blood vessels from potential further damage. Vitals signs are monitored frequently, and heart monitors are used to watch for abnormal heart rhythms. Medications may be used to control high blood pressure and prevent blood vessel spasm, seizure, agitation, and pain.

Return to Aneurysm (Brain)

See what others are saying

Comment from: Yak57, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 16

I have been living with the knowledge that I have a small aneurysm (when first discovered, it was at about 3.2mm) behind my left eye for over 15 years. We've avoided repair, as the risks outweigh the benefits. I have an MRI/MRA annually to check on it. Last week, I had a car accident, rear-ended, and bumped my head hard enough to warrant a CAT scan. The CAT scan report stated there was a non-specific 5 mm calcification. I assumed that was the aneurysm, and checked with my neurosurgeon to find that my aneurysm was only 3.8mm last year. So, I am going in for a mid-year MRI/MRA (on my usual machine) to measure the growth. If they were to operate on it as it was, I would certainly lose the sight in my eye, but would save my life. If it has grown by 25% in only one year, something is up. The car accident may have saved my life, we shall see.

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Comment from: Noel, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 08

For many years I would have headaches, relieved by sleep, a dark place and or Excedrin. One day I was working and developed tremors of my hands. I went to see my neurologist and requested an MRI. It revealed 8 aneurysms. Then had an MRA with confirmation. I later went to the hospital where I had a cerebral angiogram. This is considered most diagnostic. Conclusively 4 were confirmed; I was treated with coils stents and the pipeline. Post operation cerebral angiogram showed dissolution of three and a diminishing fourth. In my case I had no associated symptoms although many times it is the unassociated factors that lead one to discover aneurysms. Presently I have occasional stiffness of my right eye and pressure behind it. In the past my family has always called it the strange eye, but because of my history I will pursue it further.

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