Aneurysm Clipping Can Protect Your Long-term Health

Cerebral aneurysm, brain headAn aneurysm is a balloon-like sac that develops on the wall of a blood vessel, protruding outward. As blood enters this sac, the tissues can weaken. Over time, the aneurysm could rupture. Dr. Peter Nakaji can place a special clip on an aneurysm, stopping or preventing a rupture. At the Barrow Neurological Institute, Dr. Nakaji uses minimally invasive techniques to perform aneurysm clipping. Contact our Phoenix office to learn more.

Candidates for Aneurysm Clipping

Clipping can be an effective treatment for both unruptured and ruptured aneurysms. Unfortunately, unruptured aneurysms do not typically exhibit symptoms, and often go undiagnosed. However, if a patient has a very large aneurysm, it can place pressure on the surrounding tissues, resulting in:

  • Headaches
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Pain around and behind your eye
  • Problems speaking
  • Widespread muscle weakness

If you or a loved one has suffered a ruptured aneurysm, you must seek immediate medical attention. If the rupture is detected quickly, surgical clipping can prevent permanent damage. Symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm include:

  • Extreme headache
  • Nausea
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Sudden pain behind the eye
  • Sudden vision loss
  • Sudden speech difficulties
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Drooping eyelids

Although clipping is a highly effective treatment for brain aneurysms, there are other options available. With a CT scan or an MRI, Dr. Nakaji will determine the optimal treatment for your needs.

Clipping an Aneurysm

An aneurysm clip will remain in place for life. Over the years, the aneurysm will naturally shrink and turn into scar tissue.

Patients receive general anesthesia prior to treatment. Next, Dr. Nakaji will stabilize the patient's head and create an opening in the skull. He uses conservative techniques and will always use the least invasive method possible. He will use microscopes to view the aneurysm as he separates it from the surrounding tissues. Without touching the nearby brain tissue, he will place the tiny clip around the neck of the aneurysm. Finally, he replaces the bone flap, using small metal clasps or plates to hold it in place and facilitate healing.

Results and Benefits

Following aneurysm clipping, you should expect to spend several days in the hospital. Dr. Nakaji will continue to monitor your progress, even after you return home. Healing time will vary for each patient. If your aneurysm did not rupture, you will typically enjoy a full recovery in about 4 to 6 weeks. In the case of a ruptured aneurysm, patients typically experience temporary or permanent brain damage. Therapy can help patients regain most of their physical and cognitive abilities.

Surgical aneurysm clipping provides important benefits. Fully clipped aneurysms have virtually no risk of rupture. Even if Dr. Nakaji can only partially clip your aneurysm, you can enjoy a favorable long-term outlook. After surgery, you should undergo routine checkups to detect the development of any additional aneurysms in the earliest possible stages.

Protect Your Long-Term Health

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a brain aneurysm, contact Barrow Neurological Institute as soon as possible. During your consultation, Dr. Nakaji will determine the best treatment for your needs.  

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