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Brain Aneurysm: Endovascular Embolization

Topic Overview

Endovascular embolization is becoming a standard treatment option for people who have a brain aneurysm. It may be used for people who are at high risk for complications from a surgical repair (clipping) of the aneurysm.

Endovascular embolization involves packing the aneurysm with a substance (for example, soft coil or mesh) that fills the stretched and bulging section of the blood vessel. This helps seal off the aneurysm and reduces the risk of the aneurysm leaking blood or rupturing. The doctor uses X-rays to identify the aneurysm and to put the substance in the aneurysm.

The success of this treatment depends on the size and location of the aneurysm, the skill of the doctor, and the person's general health. Complications include a leak or rupture of the aneurysm or bleeding caused by the movement of the medical instruments through the blood vessels.

Studies are being done to determine the long-term success of this treatment and how to prevent complications. In cases where endovascular embolization is not possible, aneurysm clipping with craniotomy is done.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Karin M. Lindholm, DO - Neurology
Last Revised January 3, 2013

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