A brain aneurysm is removed by performing a surgery. It is called brain aneurysm repair. An aneurysm is a weak area of the blood vessel which causes it to bulge and sometimes rupture. An aneurysm can cause bleeding around the brain (subarachnoid hemorrhage) or bleeding in the brain which forms blood to accumulate (hematoma).
There are two ways to repair and remove a brain aneurysm:
The first one is clipping and the second is endovascular repair. Endovascular repair is done using stenting (mesh tubes) or coiling. It is a less interference with an aneurysm.
Aneurysm Clipping for Removing Brain Aneurysm
- While performing this repair for removing brain aneurysm, the patient is given a local anesthesia along with a breathing tube.
- Your skull, scalp and the brain coverings are opened.
- Doctors place a metal clip at the neck of an aneurysm to ensure that it does not rupture and cause bleeding.
Post-craniotomy clip litigation of an aneurysm, the patients are kept in ICCU. Usually, they are discharged after a week and it takes about 4 to 6 weeks for completely resuming their routine. Patients are advised not to engage in aggressive physical activities. With time, they can regain their endurance and strength.
Endovascular Repair for Removing A Brain Aneurysm
While performing this repair for removing brain aneurysm, similar to clipping method, you are given general anaesthesia and a breathing tube. Sometimes, you are also given medicines to calm you down but these do not put you to sleep.
Then, the surgeon guides a catheter into the small cut in the groin to the artery and then in the blood vessel where an aneurysm is located.
A contrast material is then injected via the catheter which allows the surgeon to clearly view the arteries and aneurysm on the monitor.
This procedure is also called coiling because they put thin wires in an aneurysm and coil it into a mesh ball. Then, there are blood clots formed around this coil preventing the aneurysm to rupture. Sometimes, in some cases, mesh tubes are put in for holding the coils together in place. After the procedure, many patients are given heparin for preventing the formation of dangerous blood clots.
After the endovascular surgery, some routine check-up is required because the risks of reoccurrences are higher.
Tips to remember before the procedure:
Usually, this procedure is done in an emergency. But if it isn’t an emergency, remember to follow these tips:
- Tell your doctor, what herbs or drugs you have been taking. Also, mention if you are a regular alcohol drinker.
- Ask your doctor which medicines should be still taken post-surgery.
- It is advised to avoid smoking.
- Remember to not eat or drink before the surgery.
- Regularly take your medicines as directed by your doctor.
- Rest whenever possible or when you are tired. Take naps to reduce stress.
- You will not be able to work immediately after the surgery. Getting back to work will require at least four weeks.
After the Brain Aneurysm Procedure:
If your aneurysm bleeds during or after the procedure you will have to stay in the hospital for a week or two for some recovery.
Before you are sent home, the doctors may conduct some imaging or screening tests of the blood vessels.
Outlook After The Procedure
After a successful surgery for a ruptured aneurysm, it is unlikely for an aneurysm to bleed again. Most of the times, a brain aneurysm surgery prevents it from becoming larger and worse, only if it has not bled before. Although, after surgery, regularly visit your doctor for further follow-ups.
Why is the Procedure Performed?
If your brain aneurysm ruptures, it requires emergency treatment. Usually, a ruptured brain aneurysm is treated using endovascular repair. However, not all the aneurysms are required to be treated right away. The aneurysms which have never bled are less than 3 mm do not need to be treated. You might not understand the medical terms. Your doctor can help you decide whether it is safe to have a surgery or not.
- “Brain Aneurysm Repair.” MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007381.htm
- “Brain Aneurysm Repair.” Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/16560-brain-aneurysm-repair
- “Recovering from Brain Aneurysm Surgery.” University of Michigan Medicine. https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/tn9569