Surgery for Brain Aneurysm
Brain aneurysms come in various shapes and sizes. Most commonly they take the form of a grape and 90% of brain aneurysms are called saccular or ‘berry’ aneurysms. Rarely, these aneurysms can occur as a result of disease and bulging of the entire blood vessel and these are called fusiform aneurysms. There is a rare form which forms as a result of a tear in the lining of the blood vessel and this is called a dissecting aneurysm.
An aneurysm is basically a weakness of the blood vessel.The main cause for concern with an aneurysm is that it can give way suddenly and cause a brain haemorrhage and can lead to a stroke, and sometimes may be fatal. A lot of healthy normal people can have an aneurysm and not know about it.
It is important to know however that not all aneurysms will rupture.
An aneurysm rupture classically presents with a sudden, severe headache, “the worst headache”.
It can be accompanied by:
- neck stiffness
- blurred or double vision
- sensitivity to light
- drooping eyelid
- trouble speaking or a change in awareness and mental state
- trouble walking or dizziness
- nausea or vomiting
- seizure (convulsion)
- loss of consciousnes
This needs emergency medical treatment and should be managed in hospital.
The treatment of brain aneurysm is individualized and usually involves a multidisciplinary team of surgeons. Basically surgical treatment will include any of the following :
- open microneurosurgery and closing of the weakness by applying a titanium clip across the neck of the aneurysm.
- endovascular coiling, in which the aneurysm is packed off with small platinum coils which are placed under X-ray guidance using small catheters which are passed from the groin to the blood vessel abnormality.