Coil Placement (Cerebral Aneurysm)

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There are two primary surgical treatments for a cerebral aneurysm.

Endovascular Coiling (Coil Embolization)

Endovascular coiling is a minimally invasive technique that doesn’t require in incision in the skull. Instead, your doctor threads a catheter from a blood vessel in the groin up into the blood vessels in the brain. Your doctor uses fluoroscopy (a special type of X-ray) to help move the catheter to your head and into the aneurysm.

Once the catheter is in place, your doctor moves tiny platinum coils through the catheter into the aneurysm. These soft platinum coils, which are visible on X-ray, conform to the shape of the aneurysm. The coiled aneurysm becomes clotted off (embolization), which prevents a rupture. You may be asleep or awake for this procedure.

Open Craniotomy (Surgical Clipping)

Open craniotomy is a traditional procedure that involves the surgical removal of part of the skull. Your doctor exposes the aneurysm and places a metal clip across the neck of the aneurysm to prevent blood flow into the aneurysm sac. After clipping, your doctor sutures your skull back together.

Which Treatment is Right For Me?

We’ll help determine which treatment works for you based on:

  • Your age, overall health and medical history
  • The extent of the condition
  • Your signs and symptoms
  • Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies
  • Expectations for the course of the condition
  • Your opinion or preference
  • Size and location of the aneurysm
  • Presence or absence of symptoms
  • Other risk factors for aneurysm rupture

At UVA, we strive to decrease your risk of a subarachnoid hemorrhage, either initially or from a repeated episode of bleeding.