Precise, Safe Aneurysm Treatment Options

Superior cerebellar artery aneurysm 3D photograph

Cerebral aneurysms are weak areas in an artery in the brain. They often form like bubble that can rupture and cause bleeding in the brain, damage to surrounding tissues, serious injury, and even death.  In the event of rupture, emergency treatment secure the aneurysm and gives the patient a chance at recovery.  Patients with unruptured aneurysms will sometimes choose surgery to seal off the aneurysm before rupture can occur.  A number of treatment strategies are available.  Dr. Nakaji brings expertise and experience with the most modern options.  Dr. Nakaji is a respected specialist, researcher, and educator who is recognized for his work treating complex, high-risk aneurysms. 

Other cerebrovascular disorders we treat include arteriovenous malformations (AVM), dural arteriovenous fistulae, moyamoya disease, cavernous malformations, and neurovascular compression syndromes like trigeminal neuralgia and hemifacial spasm.

Our Phoenix office, serving Scottsdale and surrounding communities, is conveniently located at Barrow Neurological Institute. To learn more, schedule an appointment today

What is an Aneurysm?

Because of the intricate nature of the brain and the arteries within it, aneurysms can take many forms. Aneurysms can vary greatly in their severity, location, and type, creating unique challenges that require different types of treatment.

There are four types of aneurysms: saccular, dissecting, mycotic, and pseudoaneurysm. A saccular aneurysm is the most common type of aneurysm. It develops in a weak spot on the arterial wall. A dissecting aneurysm forms in the layers of the blood vessel wall. Mycotic aneurysms are found in the superficial tissue of the arterial system, and often occur in groups within a small bundle of arteries. A pseudoaneurysm is caused by trauma to the head and results in damage, weakening, and expanding of the arterial wall.

A Threat without Symptoms

Many patients may not be aware they have an aneurysm. An aneurysm does not cause noticeable symptoms unless it ruptures or swells to a degree that it interferes with the brain's functions.

Once an aneurysm ruptures, subarachnoid hemorrhage occurs, which is exceptionally dangerous. Symptoms may arise suddenly and include headache, numbness, vision distortion, nausea, and loss of consciousness. Left untreated, a ruptured aneurysm can develop into a vasospasm. This dangerous condition prevents oxygen-rich blood from traveling to crucial parts of the brain. Oxygen-deprived brain tissue creates complications within the nervous system, causing severe loss of function and even death.

Treatment Options

Dr. Nakaji works within a multidisciplinary team that uses microsurgical and endovascular treatments for aneurysms and related conditions. He uses advanced techniques, imaging technologies, and precise tools to access and control aneurysms, in order to prevent them from damaging surrounding healthy tissue. These surgeries are intended to prevent an aneurysm from ever expanding and rupturing.

Many aneurysms benefit from microsurgical craniotomy, a procedure that involves clipping the affected artery. The aneurysm is closed with a tiny titanium clip, preventing it from bleeding, or a bypass may be created in the blood vessel to go around the aneurysm. While complex, these surgeries have become relatively routine as techniques have made treatments more safe.

Another option for treatment of aneurysms is endovascular coiling.  During this procedure, the aneurysm is located with a catheter inserted through an artery.  Then, sterilized platinum coils are inserted, preventing blood from further expanding the aneurysm, and minimizing the risk of rupture.  Dr. Nakaji will discuss the various options and help you choose the one that is right for you.

Schedule a Consultation

Dr. Nakaji and the Cerebrovascular team at the Barrow have years of experience treating all types of aneurysms, allowing us to achieve exceptional levels of precision, safety, and effectiveness. As an authority in the treatment of aneurysms, Dr. Nakaji regularly receives referrals from other specialists in the neurosurgical field within the US and internationally. For more information on the diagnosis and treatment of cerebral aneurysms, or to schedule an appointment at our office, contact us today.

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