A brain aneurysm is a bulge in a blood vessel in your brain. When it’s small, it may not cause any symptoms until it leaks or ruptures. That’s why this condition is often only caught when a doctor is evaluating you for other cranial conditions.
Treatment for a brain aneurysm at Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery may include medication or neurosurgery, depending on the situation and severity.
Here are some of the most common treatments:
Your surgeon may recommend surgical clipping either for a ruptured or unruptured aneurysm. During this neurosurgery, your practitioner cuts and removes a small portion of your skull to access the aneurysm. Your surgeon then uses a small metal clip to stop blood from flowing to the aneurysm. The practitioner will stitch the dura – the protective layer around the brain. Finally, they will use metal plates and screws to reattach the small portion of your skull.
This particular procedure doesn’t require your surgeon to access your brain through your skull. Instead, your surgeon makes an incision, typically near your groin. Your practitioner then inserts a catheter, which is a plastic tube, into the artery and directs it to the aneurysm. Your practitioner uses a guide wire to push a wire through the tube. The wire will coil inside the bulged artery, which will prohibit blood from flowing through the artery.
A flow diverter works a bit differently. Instead of blocking blood from reaching the aneurysm, it redirects blood from entering the aneurysm. During a flow diverter procedure, the surgeon places a device called a neurovascular stent in the parent blood vessel. This redirects blood flow from going to the aneurysm.
Ventricular or Lumbar Draining Catheters and Shunt Surgery
This procedure consists of your neurosurgeon inserting a catheter into the brain’s ventricles, which are the fluid-filled spaces in the brain. The excess fluid drains into an external bag. In some cases, your doctor may want a permanent solution for drainage, which means you’ll receive a shunt system. For this, your surgeon inserts a flexible tube and a valve. It acts as a drainage channel and carries excess fluid from your brain to your abdominal cavity.
Calcium-channel blockers restrict calcium from going into the walls of your blood vessels. As a result, the blood vessels won’t narrow erratically. The surgeon will prescribe this if you had an aneurysm that ruptured. It’s been shown that a calcium-channel blocker decreases your risk of brain damage after a hemorrhage.
Besides medical intervention, your neurosurgeon will recommend lifestyle changes to prevent aneurysms in the future. For instance, your surgeon will ask you to quit smoking, which can reduce your risk of an aneurysm developing, growing, or rupturing. Your surgeon can recommend ways to help you quit if you’re struggling.
Your surgeon will also recommend you receive treatment for hypertension, if necessary. In addition, your physician will also want you to refrain from using any illicit drugs, especially cocaine.
Your practitioner will also advise you to make changes to your diet. You should consume a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and whole grains. You should also recommend that you exercise regularly.
Why Choose One of Our Lone Tree, CO Neurosurgeons for Brain Aneurysm Diagnosis or Treatment
At Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery, you will receive a comprehensive evaluation and care specially tailored to your needs. Our physicians will walk you through every step of any procedure, so you know what to expect.
Contact Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery, serving Lone Tree and the surrounding region, if you were referred for aneurysm diagnosis or treatment. Call us at (303) 790-1800, or use our convenient online scheduling tool.