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What is an aneurysm?

An aneurysm is a condition whereby a section of an artery wall bulges, dilates or balloons out. Your arteries are the blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Common aneurysm locations include:

  • Artery in the spleen (splenic artery aneurysm)
  • Behind the knee in the leg (popliteal artery aneurysm)
  • Brain (cerebral aneurysm)
  • Intestine (mesenteric artery aneurysm)
  • Major artery from the heart (the aorta)

Our approach

The Northwell Health Neuroscience Institute combines advanced technical knowledge and cutting-edge procedures for diagnosing and treating ruptured and non-ruptured aneurysms and related conditions. Our team of specialists provides thorough neurological evaluations using the latest diagnostic technology including CT angiography and 3D angiography. We work very closely with the departments of neurosurgery, interventional neuroradiology, neurology and radiation oncology, as well as other specialists, to ensure an accurate diagnosis and the appropriate treatment for the best outcome.

Symptoms

An aneurysm can grow for years without any symptoms or signs. The symptoms may appear only when the aneurysm ruptures, blocks the flow of blood or grows large enough to press on nearby body parts. Symptoms can include:

  • A drooping eyelid
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seizure
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Stiff neck
  • Sudden, extremely severe headache

Causes

Although it is not clear what causes aneurysms, some develop during birth and others are attributed to artery wall defects.

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