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What is an aneurysm?

An aneurysm is a weak spot in your blood vessel that has filled with blood like a balloon. It forms a blood filled sac. This weak sac can leak blood into your brain causing brain injury. It can be fatal. To prevent or stop this sac from leaking, a doctor (neurosurgeon) will decide with you and your family to do one of two things, either clip or coil the aneurysm. 

What is a coiling?

Coiling is a way to fill the aneurysm with coils to keep it from leaking blood into the brain. This is done by a neuro-radiologist who inserts a small tube (catheter) into the groin area just above your leg. The tube is guided through your blood vessels until it reaches the aneurysm. Several small coils are released by the tube right into the aneurysm. This will cause blood to clot or harden inside of the aneurysm which will stop blood from coming into or leaking out of the aneurysm.

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Risks

  • Aneurysm may rupture during treatment

  • Damage to the artery and bleeding into the brain

  • Weakness of an arm or a leg 

  • Speech problems

  • Vision problems

  • Confusion, memory loss 

  • Seizures

  • Vasospasm

  • Infection

If there are no problems after 24 to 48 hours, you will be moved to the neurological nursing unit. You will be closely watched as you begin to move around more. In a few days we will show you how you need to care for yourself and send you home.

If there are problems or bleeding in the brain, your hospital stay could be 14-20 days or more in the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

What is a clipping?

You and your family, along with the doctor may decide to clip the aneurysm. The doctor creates a surgical opening into the brain and finds the aneurysm using special tools. Once the doctor finds the aneurysm, the doctor places and secures tiny clips at the base of the aneurysm. Because of the clip, no more blood is able to get into the aneurysm. Then the blood within the aneurysm will clot which will prevent it from leaking. Sometimes, the doctor will take the blood out of the aneurysm using suction, like when you deflate a balloon.

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Risks

  • Infection

  • Stroke

  • Seizure

  • Swelling in the brain

  • Vasospasm

  • Bleeding in the brain

If there are no problems after 24 to 48 hours, you will be moved to the neurological nursing unit. You will be watched closely as you begin to move around more. In a few days we will show you how you need to care for yourself and send you home.

If there are problems or bleeding in the brain, the hospital stay could be 14-20 days or more in the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit (NICU).