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Aneurysm

An aneurysm is an abnormal bulge that can develop in a weakened wall of an artery that supplies blood to the brain. For most people, aneurysms cause no symptoms. If an aneurysm becomes large, it can press on nerves in the brain and cause a range of symptoms including headaches, change in vision, numbness or weakness on one side of the face or body, or seizures. An aneurysm can rupture (burst) and leak blood into the brain. A ruptured aneurysm is a life threatening emergency and requires immediate treatment.

Because aneurysms that haven’t ruptured may have no symptoms, they are usually discovered during treatment of another condition. If an aneurysm is suspected, one or more imaging tests may be ordered including a CT scan, a CT angiogram, magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), or a cerebral angiogram. These tests allow us to see if there is blood in the brain as well as to evaluate the blood vessels for aneurysms.

Whether it involves a brain aneurysm that hasn’t ruptured or one that already has, the Temple neurosciences team at Jeanes Hospital are highly experienced in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of aneurysms.

Aneurysm Treatment at Jeanes Hospital

Treatment for a brain aneurysm depends on a number of factors, including the patient’s age, medical condition, ability to undergo surgery, and the size, shape and location of the aneurysm.

For aneurysms that haven’t ruptured, the Temple neurosciences team at Jeanes Hospital provide ongoing observation or surgical intervention based on the short- or long-term risk of rupture. If an aneurysm has ruptured, it becomes a medical emergency that requires surgery to seal it off and prevent it from bleeding again.

The main surgeries performed by Temple neurosurgeons for the treatment of aneurysms include:

  • Surgical clipping – During this procedure, an incision is made on the head and a small opening in the skull to access the aneurysm. A small metal clip is then placed at the base of the aneurysm to prevent blood from entering the aneurysm from the artery.
  • Endovascular coiling (also known as Embolization) – This procedure involves making a small incision in the groin and feeding a small tube through the body to the aneurysm. A thin wire is then fed through the tube into the aneurysm, where it coils up and disrupts blood flow and causes the blood to clot and sealing the aneurysm off from the artery. This approach is less invasive than surgery.
  • Flow diversion – This procedure also uses a tube that is fed to the aneurysm. But instead of placing a device inside the aneurysm, it is placed in the artery outside the aneurysm to divert blood flow away and reduce the risk of rupture. This approach can be used to treat brain aneurysms that haven’t ruptured.

To schedule an appointment with a Temple neurologist or neurosurgeon at the Jeanes Hospital Neurosciences Center, click here or call 215-728-CARE (2273).

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