Brain aneurysms are weaknesses of the arterial wall that cause a ballooning out of the artery. This ballooning carries a risk of bursting or leaking into the surrounding brain tissue (rupture). If a brain aneurysm ruptures, it can cause severe bleeding (hemorrhage). At Mount Sinai, we are often able to identify the presence of an aneurysm and treat it before rupture. We use neuroendovascular techniques (embolization) or surgery (aneurysm clipping) to prevent a disastrous rupture.
Embolization. During embolization, we use angiogram techniques to treat the aneurysm from inside the blood vessel. We pack the aneurysm with detachable coils so it can no longer fill up with blood.
At Mount Sinai we have embolized more than 600 brain aneurysms. We are experts in both stent- and balloon-assisted coil embolization. Mount Sinai has FDA and IRB approval to use newly developed stents to assist in coil embolization, as well as Onyx HD, a liquid “glue” that closes brain aneurysms.
Aneurysm clipping. Instead of embolization, we might place a surgical clip around the neck of the aneurysm to prevent blood from flowing into it. This involves an open surgical procedure, but in some cases, this is the preferred approach.
In the event that an aneurysm does rupture, blood vessels in the brain may constrict (narrow), producing symptoms akin to a stroke. We use these same endovascular techniques to help re-open the blood vessels and restore circulation.