A brain (cerebral) aneurysm is a bulging, weak area in the wall of an artery that supplies blood to the brain. In most cases, a brain aneurysm causes no symptoms and goes unnoticed. In rare cases, the brain aneurysm ruptures, releasing blood into the skull and causing a stroke.
The causes of aneurysms are sometimes unknown. Some may be congenital, meaning a person is born with them. An aneurysm may also occur as the result of aortic disease or an injury.
There are several treatment options for a brain aneurysm. Based on the size, location and overall appearance of the brain aneurysm in addition to the patient’s overall health and family history, our surgeon may recommend one of the following procedures:
Surgical clipping closes off an aneurysm. The neurosurgeon removes a section of your skull to access the aneurysm and locates the blood vessel that feeds the aneurysm. Then he or she places a tiny metal clip on the neck of the aneurysm to stop blood flow to it.
Endovascular coiling is a less invasive procedure than surgical clipping. The surgeon inserts a hollow plastic tube (catheter) into an artery, usually in your groin, and threads it through your body to the aneurysm. A guide wire then helps push a soft platinum wire through the catheter and into the aneurysm. The wire coils up inside the aneurysm, disrupts the blood flow and causes blood to clot. This clotting essentially seals off the aneurysm from the artery.
View our extensive animation library to learn more about what we treat and the procedures we perform.