1331 N 7th St #405 Phoenix, AZ 85006
Phone: (602) 254-3151

Arizona Neurosurgery and Spine Specialists

Brain Aneurysm Specialists

What is a brain aneurysm?

An aneurysm is a bulge in a blood vessel, looking much like a weak spot in a hose that’s about to burst. In the brain, unruptured aneurysms rarely cause a problem, producing no symptoms, and many will never burst. However, when they leak or rupture, the bleeding inside the brain becomes dangerous very quickly. In most cases, an aneurysm ruptures between the brain and the thin membranes surrounding it. This is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a type of stroke.

Do brain aneurysms have symptoms?

If an aneurysm isn’t ruptured, you may have no symptoms at all, particularly if the bulge is small. As these grow larger, the bulge could press on nerves or brain tissue. In that case, you may experience symptoms such as:

  • Dilated pupil in one eye
  • Pain above and behind that eye
  • Drooping eyelid
  • Changes in your vision, such as blurring or double vision
  • Feelings of weakness or numbness on one side of your face

Leaking and ruptured aneurysms typically produce what many patients describe as “the worst headache ever.” Its onset is sudden, and it may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as:

  • Feelings of nausea that may progress to vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light and other vision problems
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Seizures or loss of consciousness

While a leaking aneurysm may not be immediately dangerous, these almost always elevate into severe ruptures at some point, so seek immediate medical attention if you have any of these symptoms, alone or in combination.

How are unruptured aneurysms treated?

The surgeons at Arizona Neurosurgery & Spine Specialists commonly use two methods to treat unruptured aneurysms, though in some cases, the risks of surgery may outweigh the benefits. Several factors influence the decision to proceed with surgery. These include:

  • Your age and overall health
  • Any family history of ruptured aneurysms
  • The size and location of the aneurysm
  • Other conditions that increase the risks of rupture, such as high blood pressure and smoking

If surgery proceeds, your surgeon will choose one of the same methods used to treat ruptured aneurysms. Conventional surgery removes a section of your skull so the doctor can place a clip at the base of the aneurysm to stop it from receiving blood. Endovascular coiling is a less invasive technique, using a catheter to feed a soft wire into the aneurysm, which clots and seals.

The neurosurgeons of Arizona Neurosurgery & Spine Specialists, located in Phoenix and Peoria, Arizona, are specialists in treating can brain aneurysms before they have a chance to create problems.

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