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UR Medicine / Neurosurgery / Services / Treatments / Intracranial Aneurysm Surgery


Intracranial Aneurysm Surgery

For more information, please visit our Cerebrovascular, Stroke and Endovascular Program site

What is it?

An aneurysm is area on the artery wall that becomes weak and balloons. The wall is stretched thin and is prone to rupture. Aneurysms typically occur at the bifurcation (splits into two parts) at the base of the skull.

Subarachnoid Hemorrhage: When the aneurysm bursts it causes blood to go into the space around the brain. This is a life threatening emergency.

What is its goal?

To secure the aneurysm to prevent hemorrhage.

How is it done?

An incision is made in your head and an opening in the skull to provide access to the brain and arteries. The aneurysm is identified and a permanent clip is placed across the neck.

What are the risks?

There are always risks with any surgery. Potential complications include:

  • Pain, numbness due to nerve manipulation
  • Stroke, weakness, paralysis
  • Neurologic deficits
  • Seizures
  • Blood clots
  • Infections

How long will I stay in the hospital?

For non-ruptured aneurysms typically three to five days.

Going home

You will be given additional instructions on the day you are discharged which will include:

  • Walk daily, gradually increasing time and distance. Avoid sitting or lying down for long periods as this will lead to pain and stiffness.
  • Do not get overtired; balance periods of activity with rest periods.
  • No driving while taking narcotic pain medication.
  • You may go up and downstairs.
  • Do not carry heavy items, such as groceries or laundry. Do not lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk until told otherwise by your doctor.
  • You should not need special equipment for home