Brain Aneurysm Clipping

What is a brain aneurysm clipping?

Have you ever filled up a water balloon too far and it burst? Just like a balloon, sometimes there is a weak spot in the wall of one of the blood vessels in your brain. If blood builds up there, it can cause the vessel to balloon out or sometimes even burst. This is called a brain aneurysm.

An aneurysm is a life-threatening condition that can cause bleeding in the brain and into the area around your brain. Main Line Health offers a treatment called brain aneurysm clipping to block off the aneurysm before it can rupture.

What to expect from a brain aneurysm clipping surgery

Brain aneurysm clipping is one of the most common treatments for non-emergency aneurysms. This means that your aneurysm is bulging with the potential to burst, but has not yet ruptured. These types of non-emergency aneurysms do not have any symptoms, but may show up on an MRI or brain scan that is being done for another diagnostic reason.

During brain aneurysm clipping, you will be given general anesthesia so you will not feel the surgery. The surgeon will make an incision in your scalp and remove the skull bone over the area of the aneurysm. A small metal clip is then placed around the blood vessel at the site of the aneurysm in order to prevent blood from entering the bulging sac.

With the clip in place, the weakened area is strengthened and the risk of bleeding is eliminated. Eventually, the bulging sac of the aneurysm will shrink down and scar, so that it is completely gone. The metal clip will remain in place permanently to prevent a future aneurysm and bleeding.

After brain aneurysm clipping surgery, you will need a brief hospital stay. Your doctor will talk to you about special concerns during your recovery. Most of the clips used during brain aneurysm clipping surgery are safe for any future MRI scans, but be sure to check with your doctor.


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