Cerebral aneurysms are abnormal balloon-like outpouchings of blood vessels sitting on the surface of the brain. Depending on their location, size and patient risk factors, they pose a risk of rupturing and causing life-threatening intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding).
Aneurysms can often be treated non-invasively using endovascular embolization performed by one of our highly specialized interventional neuroradiologists at Hoag. This involves placing a very small flexible catheter into the aneurysm and slowly and carefully filling it with thin platinum wires, called coils, which seal off the aneurysm and prevent it from ever rupturing. The catheter is then removed, leaving normal blood flow in the healthy vessels, and avoiding the need for open brain surgery.
In addition, some aneurysms can be treated with flow-diverting stents, such as the Pipeline Embolization Device®.