Brain Aneurysms are unnatural bulges, or necks in blood vessels that can cause severe headaches. If left untreated, these can rupture or burst and cause bleeding into the brain, which is referred to as a hemorrhagic stroke. Strokes require immediate medical intervention to prevent secondary brain injuries associated with the condition. Although it is less common for an aneurysm to rupture, they still create health problems and cause symptoms, and they’re still treated the same as a ruptured aneurysm.
Typical symptoms of a stroke would be a sudden and severe headache (often the worst of your life), blurred vision, confusion, a seizure, and visually a drooping eyelid. An unruptured aneurysm usually presents itself when a patient is being seen for other conditions, but they may experience pain above and behind one eye, or even numbness on one side of your face.
It is estimated that less than 1% of the population will experience an aneurysm, and an even smaller number of those will actually rupture. Although family history and genetics are the biggest predictors for this condition, hypertension, cigarette smoking, drug abuse, heavy alcohol consumption, and older age also play factors in these patients.
When an aneurysm ruptures, bleeding usually lasts for a few seconds, which has detrimental effects to the surrounding tissue and cells, as well as the surrounding pressure of the skull.
Doctors have sophisticated imaging devices that are able to get a view of your brain and determine if, and where your aneurysm is located. These technologies include Computerized Tomography (CT) scans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Cerebral Angiogram, or a Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) test.
Many advances in these technologies, coupled with surgeons receiving advanced training, have led to multiple new treatment options. Surgical clipping has been the time-tested treatment modality, although new methods have come, many still require open surgical intervention. A novel new technique involves placing a stent in the femoral artery, below the groin, then navigating the stent into the brain to coil the aneurysm using an endovascular approach. Both approaches have inherent risks and complications, but a well-trained surgeon will advise the best path for your treatment.
A craniotomy involves removing a section of the skull so that the anatomy and aneurysm can be accessed. The craniotomy begins with perforating the skull with a drill bit, a standard footplate 2mm or 3mm Kerrison is ideal for removing the thin but hard cortical bone. Once the protective layers of the brain are accessed the brain is then very delicately manipulated to access the anatomy in need of treatment.
Surgeons will then protect vessels, and healthy white matter of the brain with non-stick surgical sponges. Telfa is an ideal product from ACE Medical in that it is completely non-stick while providing protection to critical anatomy. Delicot is an extremely thin (.33mm) patty that is most ideal for very tight indications.
It is very critical for surgeons, in these procedures, to stop bleeding both from the aneurysm, and accessing the structures. Surgeons will use our ac bipolars to stop bleeding through electrocautery. Our fine tips, and wide assortment of lengths and special angled tips are ideal to treat any aneurysm at any depth in the brain. The Solid silver tips make them completely non-stick, especially critical when working in and around delicate neuroanatomy.