One in 50 Americans lives with an unruptured brain aneurysm. It’s essential to learn the symptoms so you can immediately contact the board-certified team at Coast Neurosurgical Associates at the first sign of a problem. Most aneurysms need immediate treatment because there’s no way to predict when they may suddenly rupture. If you have questions about brain aneurysms or want to schedule an appointment, call the office in Long Beach, California, or use the online booking feature today.
An aneurysm begins when a weak area develops in an artery wall. The force of your blood flowing through the artery pushes the weak area outward, making a balloon-like bulge called an aneurysm.
Over time, the aneurysm wall gets thinner and weaker and can rupture. The sudden bleeding in your brain may lead to a stroke, coma, and even death.
Aneurysms can range in size from very small to as large as one inch. One-inch aneurysms, called giant aneurysms, are rare but more challenging to treat and pose a higher risk of bleeding.
Half of all patients with a small, stable brain aneurysm don’t have symptoms. When symptoms appear, you have:
If the aneurysm ruptures, you develop a sudden, severe headache, stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting. You may also become sensitive to light, develop vision loss, or lose consciousness.
Before recommending a treatment, your neurosurgeon grades the aneurysm based on its size, shape, and location. They also consider your overall health and determine if you have any other neurological conditions.
If you have a small, stable aneurysm, your neurosurgeon may decide to monitor the bulge closely, frequently checking for changes in its size before recommending surgery.
While monitoring your aneurysm, they also treat high blood pressure to slow down or possibly stop the aneurysm from enlarging.
Nearly all other brain aneurysms need surgery to prevent a sudden rupture. Your neurosurgeon may recommend one of the following:
Your neurosurgeon places a metal clip at the base of the bulge. The clip prevents blood from getting into the aneurysm.
After guiding a catheter through your blood vessels to the brain aneurysm, your neurosurgeon fills the bulge with soft coils. The coils seal the aneurysm, stopping blood from flowing into the area.
If clipping or coiling doesn’t work for your aneurysm, your neurosurgeon may insert a stent into the artery, allowing blood to flow past the bulge. Alternatively, they may place a device inside the aneurysm that keeps blood out.
To learn more about aneurysms or schedule an appointment, call Coast Neurosurgical Associates or request an appointment online today.