When is the procedure indicated?
An aneurysm is a localised enlargement, or bulge, in an artery. A cerebral aneurysm usually develops at an arterial branch point. The artery wall is weak at the bulge, meaning that it can easily rupture and cause a cerebral haemorrhage. Just under half of all ruptures result in death.
Treatment seeks to isolate the aneurysm from circulation, so that it won’t grow or bleed. During an open craniotomy, the base of the aneurysm is closed with a small clip, endovascular coiling, or stent grafts. Sometimes a combination of treatments is used. The best treatment is selected on a case-by-case basis.
Pros and cons
In the case of a non-ruptured aneurysm, we will consider alternative treatments to prevent cerebral haemorrhaging. The choice of treatment is decided on a case-by-case basis, and depends on the patient’s age and general health, the size and location of the aneurysm, and many other factors. Treatment is recommended for those patients for whom the risks of treatment are less than the risk of cerebral haemorrhaging.
Duration of the procedure
Surgery for a non-ruptured aneurysm usually lasts about 1–2 hours. AVM surgery (for arteriovenous malformations) takes several hours. The surgical plan will define how the operation will be carried out, and will also give its estimated duration.
The factors that have the greatest impact on recovery time are the size and location of the aneurysm and the patient’s age and general health. Recovery from brain surgery varies from patient to patient, but typically takes one to two months.
Patients undergoing demanding neurosurgery will usually spend from a few days to a week in hospital.
If your trip home involves air travel, it’s a good idea to spend a further 2–4 weeks recovering before returning to your home country.
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