Aneurysm Treatment Options
Factors that will determine the type of treatment you receive include your age, size of the aneurysm, any additional risk factors, and your overall health. Your doctor will consider several factors before deciding the best treatment for you.
Because the risk of a small aneurysm rupturing is low and surgery for a brain aneurysm is often risky, your doctor may want to continue to observe your condition rather than perform surgery. However, if your aneurysm is large or causing pain or other symptoms, or if you’ve had a previous ruptured aneurysm, your doctor may recommend surgery.
The following surgeries are used to treat both ruptured and unruptured brain aneurysms:
- Coil embolization. During this procedure, a small tube is inserted into the affected artery and positioned near the aneurysm. Tiny metal coils are moved through the tube into the aneurysm, relieving pressure on the aneurysm and making it less likely to rupture. This procedure is less invasive and is believed to be safer than surgical clipping, although it may not be as effective at reducing the risk of a later rupture.
- Surgical clipping. This surgery involves placing a small metal clip around the base of the aneurysm to isolate it from normal blood circulation. This decreases the pressure on the aneurysm and prevents it from rupturing. Whether this surgery can be done depends on the location of the aneurysm, its size, and your general health.
Some aneurysms bulge in such a way that the aneurysm has to be cut out and the ends of the blood vessel stitched together, but this is rare. Occasionally, the artery is not long enough to stitch together, and a piece of another artery has to be used.
Aneurysms that have bled are very serious and in many cases lead to death or disability. Management includes hospitalization and intensive care to relieve pressure in the brain and maintain breathing and vital functions, such as blood pressure, and treatment to prevent rebleeding.
If you’d like more information on treatment options for vascular disorders, or the doctors and services available at Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, please call 480-882-4000.