How We Treat Cerebral Aneurysms
How Is a Brain Aneurysm Treated?
We'll determine the best care for you by considering your age and overall health, as well as the size, shape, and location of your aneurysm. Your care may include:
- If your aneurysm isn't causing symptoms, particularly if it is small (less than 5 mm), we may want to observe it rather than perform surgery; the risk of rupture from small aneurysms is often low, and surgery for a brain aneurysm may carry some risk. In such cases, our physicians assess you regularly with imaging studies (such as CT or MRI) to make sure your aneurysm is not growing.
If we decide that your aneurysm needs to be treated, you may have one of these surgical therapies:
- Clipping: Our cerebrovascular surgeons place a tiny metal clip at the base of your aneurysm to cut off its blood supply. This treatment can prevent it from growing or rupturing.
- Endovascular coiling or embolization: With this minimally invasive approach, we fill the aneurysm with tiny platinum coils or a "super glue" to help it heal and to reduce the chance of it rupturing.
- Combination therapy: For some large, complex brain aneurysms, we may use a "bypass approach." We reroute the blood flow around your aneurysm, and then we treat it with clipping or endovascular embolization. We may also use special brain mapping techniques to approach delicate areas of your brain with extraordinary precision to avoid injuring healthy brain tissue.
We treat people with ruptured aneurysms in our Neurological Intensive Care Unit to monitor their brain health, minimize secondary brain injury, and reduce the risk of complications.