Endovascular Coiling for Aneurysms and AVM


aneurysm illustrationAt Barrow Neurological Institute, we proudly offer the latest minimally invasive brain surgery procedures. If you have been diagnosed with a brain aneurysm or AVM (arteriovenous malformation)Dr. Peter Nakaji can perform an endovascular coiling procedure to address these issues and prevent complications. This procedure involves using a catheter to place tiny platinum coils into the affected blood vessel. The coils will induce blood clotting to seal off the aneurysm or AVM. To learn more about endovascular coiling, contact our Phoenix office.

Candidates for Endovascular Coiling

Dr. Nakaji most frequently uses endovascular coiling to treat brain aneurysms. An aneurysm is a small sac that develops on the wall of a blood vessel, ballooning outward. As blood passes into this sac, it thins and weakens the outer walls, increasing the risk for a rupture. In many cases, aneurysms do not exhibit any symptoms until they rupture. However, large aneurysms can cause headaches, blurred vision, dilated pupils, or other symptoms prior to rupture. Aneurysms sometimes run in families, so you should undergo routine screenings if you have a genetic history of the condition. If a doctor detects an aneurysm before it ruptures, Dr. Nakaji may recommend endovascular coiling. In a few cases, he can also treat ruptured aneurysms using this procedure.

Cardiovascular coiling can also treat an AVM. An AVM is an irregular tangle of blood vessels. These vessels are already weak, and blood passes through them at very high speeds, posing a high risk for hemorrhage. The condition can cause symptoms such as headaches, seizures, muscle weakness, difficulties with balance, and impaired speech.

The Endovascular Coiling Procedure

Because endovascular coiling is a minimally invasive procedure, patients usually receive either conscious sedation or general anesthesia. The procedure begins with the insertion of a tiny catheter into a blood vessel in the groin. The catheter will travel to the brain. Dr. Nakaji will inject a special dye into the bloodstream, allowing him to watch the entire procedure on an operating room computer.

When the catheter reaches the aneurysm or AVM, Dr. Nakaji will insert a second smaller catheter. When this tool reaches the brain, it releases the coils into the aneurysm or abnormal blood vessels, filling the entire area. If needed, Dr. Nakaji can also place a stent to hold the coils in place. After checking to make certain they are in place, he will remove the catheters.

Results and Benefits

Endovascular coiling is a low-risk procedure that leaves no scars, since the catheters enter through a needle-sized opening. Because endovascular coiling is a minimally invasive procedure, it typically requires very little downtime. In most cases, patients spend one night in the hospital, and can resume regular activity in just a few days. If a patient has suffered a ruptured aneurysm or AVM hemorrhage, recovery will take longer, and physical and occupational therapy may be necessary.

Learn More about Endovascular Coiling

To learn more about endovascular coiling and other advanced treatments we provide, schedule a consultation with Dr. Nakaji today.  

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