What is coiling procedure for aneurysm?

An aneurysm is a bulge in the blood vessel that occurs due to weakness in its layers. Commonly, aneurysms occur where vessels branch but, the site can be anywhere. Two common sites of aneurysms include: the brain and the abdominal aorta. As blood passes through the weakened vessel walls, an outward bulge similar to a balloon occurs.

The aneurysms in the brain are called intracranial or cerebral aneurysms and they can lead to a serious type of bleeding in the brain called subarachnoid hemorrhage. Cerebral aneurysms, unfortunately are recognized only when they burst. This is why regular check-ups with Neurologist in Lahore should be scheduled for people who are prone to aneurysms.

Brain aneurysms

The exact cause of aneurysms is not recognized, but there are certain risk factors that make one prone to them. These include: smoking, hypertension and family history. Cigarette smoke is full of compounds that damage the vascular walls and weaken them, thus causing aneurysms. High blood pressure and constant pounding of blood on the vascular walls also damages them, causing their bulging.

If recognized early on, brain aneurysms can be treated before they rupture. First, however, risk assessment of the aneurysm is carried out to calculate their probability to rupture.

What are the treatment options for cerebral aneurysms?

Brain aneurysms can be treated by: endovascular coiling or neurosurgical clipping.

Endovascular coiling is done under general anesthesia. A small tube called a catheter is inserted through the leg and guided into the cerebral blood vessels. Thereafter, the aneurysm is located and tiny platinum coils are inserted through the catheter into the aneurysm. This blocks off the flow of blood into the aneurysm and reduces greatly the chances of a rupture. The chances of growth of the aneurysm are reduced as it is sealed from the main artery. Coiling can also be used for a ruptured aneurysm, and for people who are restricted by age to undergo surgery.

Neurosurgical clipping is also performed under general anesthesia. As the name implies, this is a neuro-surgery, which means that the brain and its vessels are accessed through an incision in the scalp. Once the aneurysm is located in the brain, a tiny metal clip is used to clamp the aneurysm. This metal clip is put permanently in place there to stop the flow of blood to the aneurysm and preventing the chances of rupture. The scalp is then stitched together and the incision is closed.

After some time, the blood vessel will heal along the line of the clip permanently.

In particularly large aneurysms, the artery leading to the aneurysm is clipped off. When this happens, a bypass channel is also created to divert the blood around the clamped area using an accessory vessel removed from the leg.

Which option is better for you?

Whether your healthcare provider is opting for coiling or clipping will depend on the shape, site and size of the aneurysm. Once the decision of going for intervention is made, ask your doctor about the risk and benefits of both procedures.

Both procedures can help treat the aneurysm but it is the risk of the procedure itself that must also be assessed. Forclipping, the surgery is associated with a number of risks, with longer surgery time, recovery time and stay in the hospital. Clipping is a better option for people with bigger aneurysms and those who are younger than 40 years. The long-term protection rate from bleeding of clipping is higher than coiling.

Coiling is less invasive than clipping, and has a shorter hospital stay. Moreover, the recovery time of coiling is shorter and the risks are less. The limitation of coiling, however, is that it cannot be used for every type of cerebral aneurysm.

Ultimately, a number of factors decide which procedure is best for which type of candidate. Ask your doctor or Neurologist in Islamabad about the procedure that is best and safe for you to make an informed decision.