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What is aneurysm clipping?

When a blood vessel in the head has ruptured or is at risk of rupturing, an aneurysm occurs. One of several ways to treat this condition, aneurysm clipping is a sophisticated microsurgical operation that has been proven to be both safe and highly effective. During an aneurysm clipping, an aneurysm is identified and freed from surrounding blood vessels. One or more titanium clips are used to secure the aneurysm, ensuring that it is neutralized and will not continue to bleed.

Why it's done

Aneurysm clipping may be done to stop bleeding from an already-ruptured vessel or to prevent bleeding from a vessel at risk of rupturing. Sometimes, brain aneurysms grow large enough to put pressure on the optic nerve or other structures in the brain, affecting eyesight and other functions. Ruptured aneurysms in the brain can cause problems such as subarachnoid hemorrhage (bleeding into the fluid-filled area surrounding the brain) and hydrocephalus (too much spinal fluid in the brain). 

Our approach

At Northwell Health, we have a dedicated team who are highly experienced in using an array of procedures to treat aneurysms—not just aneurysm clipping but also aneurysm coiling, stenting and flow diversion, if necessary. We take a multidisciplinary approach to evaluating and treating each person on an individual basis. We have a full range of neurodiagnostic tests used to assess aneurysms, including CT scans (computerized tomography), CTA scans (computed tomography angiography) and cerebral angiograms (a test that can map out the blood vessels in the brain). Your dedicated team can help decide which treatment approach is best, whether it’s endovascular surgery, craniotomy (“open” surgery) or other procedures.

 Our multidisciplinary team includes:

  • Fellowship-trained neurosurgeons
  • Neuroradiologists
  • Neurologists
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Physician assistants
  • Physical therapists
  • ICU (intensive care unit) physicians and nurses

Complications

Every brain aneurysm is different. Complications will vary by patient, but potential risks and complications of aneurysm clipping can include:

  • Sodium imbalance
  • Buildup of excess spinal fluid
  • Spasm
  • Stroke

Our team monitors each person closely for possible complications and is prepared to address any issues that arise following treatment.

Results

Aneurysm clipping is a very effective treatment, and those who undergo the procedure can expect their brain aneurysm to stop bleeding or to be prevented from bleeding. Some people, particularly those with ruptured aneurysms, will need to stay in the ICU (intensive care unit) for several days, and may require an inpatient stay in the hospital as well as further rehabilitation. This may take place in the hospital or at home and can involve physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT) or other rehabilitation.

With unique access to the latest surgical and nonsurgical innovations, our multidisciplinary team of neurologists, neurointensivists, neuroradiologists and endovascular specialists develops customized treatment plans designed specifically for each individual patient.

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