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Clinical Neuroscience Institute

Conditions and Treatments

A brain aneurysm is caused by a weak spot in an artery. This weak spot creates eventually leads to a bulge in the blood vessel in the brain. Many brain aneurysms don’t cause health problems or symptoms. However, when an aneurysm ruptures, it can cause a dangerous stroke (hemorrhagic stroke).

The team at the Clinical Neuroscience Institute (CNSI) at Premier Health team has the leading technology and experience to diagnosis and treat brain aneurysms that have bled. In fact, with early diagnosis and the latest in minimally invasive, procedures, it is possible to avoid complications of a bleeding aneurysm.

Our team brings important endovascular and surgical experience to Southwestern Ohio, including experience in delicate procedures such coil embolization and aneurysmal clipping. Our surgeons use these procedures to stop the bleeding from a ruptured aneurysm or prevent an aneurysm from bleeding.

Our comprehensive multidisciplinary team is dedicated to providing the emergency, medical, surgical and rehabilitative care for your aneurysm.

What Is a Brain Aneurysm?

A brain aneurysm is a balloon-like bulge in a blood vessel in the brain. Most aneurysms do not usually cause symptoms. However, sometimes as an aneurysm grows, you may have symptoms including:

  • Severe headaches
  • Vision changes
  • Pain behind the eye
  • Nausea and/or vomiting

If an aneurysm begins to bleed or ruptures, it can be life-threatening. Several factors increase the risk for an aneurysm bleeding:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heavy lifting or straining
  • Smoking
  • Medications, including blood thinners and diet pills
  • Stress or anger leading to increased blood pressure

Symptoms of an aneurysm that has ruptured and begun to bleed include:

  • A sudden, severe headache (worst you have ever had) that lasts several hours or days
  • Seizures
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Vision problems

If these symptoms occur, it’s critical that you get to an emergency room right away. A severe bleed from a ruptured brain aneurysm can cause brain damage and even death.

Diagnosing a Brain Aneurysm

Tests to diagnose a brain aneurysm include:

  • Cerebral catheter angiogram
  • Cerebrospinal fluid test
  • Computed tomography (CT) scans
  • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) scans

If these tests identify a ruptured brain aneurysm, your physicians will recommend immediate treatment to prevent any active or future bleeding.

Treatments for UN-Ruptured Brain Aneurysms

Procedures to treat a brain aneurysm are very effective and have a low complication rate when performed by our experienced team.

Coil embolization – This procedure will be scheduled electively and involve having you go to sleep using anesthesia. Your neurointerventional surgeon will then inserts a long, thin, tube (catheter) into the artery in your groin and guides this tube into the arteries in the brain using external cameras. A micro tube is then carefully guided into the aneurysm pocket, and tiny coils are pushed through the tube and into the aneurysm. The coils fill the aneurysm preventing blood from entering and eventually the coils cause a blood clot to form in the aneurysm pocket which is the intent. This prevents a rupture while preserving the important arteries supplying the brain blood. Most patients tolerate this process very well and are in the hospital for only 2-3 days. Most return to work in less than 7 days. The only scar that is visible is less than 1 cm in the groin area.

Aneurysm clipping. This is reserved for brain aneurysms that are not easily treated with coil embolization. This procedure prevents your aneurysm from leaking blood or helps to prevent another rupture. It is performed by a neurosurgeon who must make an incision in the scalp and open the skull, identifying the aneurysm, and then inserting a tiny clamp at the base of your aneurysm which stops blood flow to the aneurysm.

Treatments for Ruptured Brain Aneurysm

Coil embolization. The care will involve our Neurocritical care team stabilizing the patient and typically inserting a tube to help the person breath. In quick fashion, the anesthesia team will assist in putting the person to sleep. Your neurointerventional surgeon inserts a long, thin, tube (catheter) into an artery in your groin and guides this tube into the arteries in the brain using external cameras. A micro tube is then carefully guided into the aneurysm pocket, and tiny coils are pushed through the tube and into the aneurysm. The coils fill the aneurysm preventing blood from entering and eventually the coils cause a blood clot to form in the aneurysm pocket which is the intent. If your aneurysm has already burst, this prevents it from bursting again. If it has not burst, this prevents a rupture while preserving the important arteries supplying the brain blood.

Aneurysm clipping. This is reserved for brain aneurysms that are not easily treated with coil embolization. This procedure prevents your aneurysm from leaking blood or helps to prevent another rupture by opening the skull, identifying the aneurysm, and then inserting a tiny clamp at the base of your aneurysm which stops blood flow to the aneurysm. Additional treatments are available to relieve symptoms and prevent damage to brain cells. Your physician will advise you about the best treatment in your case.

Your treatments may include:

  • Medications such as calcium channel blockers to prevent complications from lack of blood flow to the brain after a rupture
  • Injections (in a vein) of a medication called a vasopressor to prevent a stroke
  • Injections through a catheter (tube) to deliver drugs called vasodilators to decrease pressure on the brain
  • Anti-seizure medications to treat seizures related to a stroke

Rehabilitation is an important part of your treatment, especially if your aneurysm caused a stroke. Our therapists can help restore your speech and functional abilities and get you back to normal life.

For more information about brain aneurysm at CNSI, and for a referral to a neurologist or neurosurgeon, call toll free 1 (844) 277-28941 (844) 277-2894.

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