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Nonruptured Cerebral Aneurysm

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

A cerebral aneurysm is a bulging or weak area in an artery that brings blood to your brain. The area fills with blood and expands. The aneurysm can expand so much that blood bursts through the artery. This is a hemorrhagic stroke. An aneurysm that has not burst can be managed or treated to prevent it from rupturing. An aneurysm can happen anywhere in your brain. They most commonly form between the brain and the base of the skull.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Medicines

may be given to treat a seizure or to prevent vomiting. Vomiting can increase the pressure in your skull.

Tests:

  • Blood tests may be used to check how much your blood coagulates (forms a clot to stop bleeding).
  • An MRI may be used to take pictures of weak or bulging areas in blood vessels. The pictures may show the size and location of the aneurysm. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious damage. Tell the healthcare provider if you have any metal in or on your body.
  • A computed tomography angiography (CTA) scan may be used to take detailed pictures of the aneurysm.
  • An angiogram is an x-ray picture of the blood vessels. Contrast liquid is used to help the blood vessels show up better in the pictures. Tell the healthcare provider if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid.

Treatment:

Treatment may depend on the size and location of the aneurysm. It may also depend on your age, or other health conditions that you have.

  • Endovascular embolism is a procedure used to fill the aneurysm. A clot forms in the aneurysm and destroys it. You may need to have this procedure more than once.
  • Endovascular coiling is a procedure used to place a coil into the aneurysm. Your healthcare provider will use a catheter (thin, flexible tube) to reach the aneurysm. The catheter is also used to place the coil in the aneurysm.
  • Flow diversion is used to change the blood flow so it does not go to the aneurysm. A stent is placed into a larger blood vessel that supplies blood to the aneurysm.
  • Clipping is surgery used to put a small metal clip around the neck of the aneurysm. This stops blood from flowing to the aneurysm. The clip stays in place permanently so that blood is kept out of the aneurysm.

RISKS:

The aneurysm may rupture and cause bleeding into your brain. This can cause life-threatening problems such as a hemorrhagic stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage, or permanent nerve damage. Blood vessels in the brain can become narrow and limit blood flow to the brain. This can lead to a stroke or cause tissue damage. An aneurysm can rupture more than once. This can lead to more aneurysms.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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