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Brain aneurysm repair

Contents of this page:

Alternative Names   

Aneurysm repair - cerebral; Cerebral aneurysm repair; Coiling; Saccular aneurysm repair; Berry aneurysm repair; Fusiform aneurysm repair; Dissecting aneurysm repair; Endovascular aneurysm repair

Definition    Return to top

An aneurysm is a weak area in the wall of a blood vessel that causes the blood vessel to bulge or balloon out. It can leak blood and cause a stroke or bleeding along the surface of the brain (also called a subarachnoid hemorrhage).

See also: Aneurysm in the brain

Description    Return to top

Your doctor will decide the best way to perform surgery on your aneurysm. Endovascular repair, most often using a "coil" or coiling, is a less invasive way to treat some aneurysms.

During endovascular repair of an aneurysm, your surgeon blocks off the aneurysm before it can break open (ruptures).

Why the Procedure is Performed    Return to top

If an aneurysm in the brain ruptures, it is an emergency and needs medical treatment, and often surgery. Endovascular repair is more often used when this happens.

A person may have an aneurysm but not any symptoms. This kind of aneurysm may have been noticed when an MRI of your brain was done for another reason.

Risks    Return to top

Risks for any anesthesia are:

Possible risks of brain surgery are:

Signs of neurological problems include:

Before the Procedure    Return to top

This procedure is often performed on an emergency basis. If it is not an emergency:

After the Procedure    Return to top

A hospital stay for endovascular repair of an aneurysm may be as short as 1 to 2 days if there was no bleeding beforehand.

The hospital stay after craniotomy and aneurysm clipping is usually around 4 to 6 days. When bleeding or other complications occur before or during surgery, the hospital stay can be 1 to 2 weeks, or more.

You will probably have an x-ray test of the blood vessels in the brain (angiogram) before you are sent home.

Outlook (Prognosis)    Return to top

After successful surgical treatment for an aneurysm, it is uncommon for it to bleed again. Growth of the aneurysm may be less likely after craniotomy and clipping when compared to intravascular repair, and both are more likely to prevent enlargement and bursting when compared to doing nothing.

The outlook also depends on any brain damage that occurred from bleeding before, during, or after the surgery.

References    Return to top

Bashir Q, Badruddin A, Aletich V. Endovascular techniques for stroke prevention. Neurol Clinic. 2008 Nov;26(4): 1099-127.

Patterson JT, Hanbali F, Franklin RL, Nauta HJW. Neurosurgey. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 72.

Update Date: 1/22/2009

Updated by: Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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