What to Expect Before, During & After Brain Aneurysm Surgery

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Brain aneurysm surgery can be a source of anxiety for both patients and their loved ones. In honor of Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month 2019, this guide sheds light on advances in brain aneurysm treatment technology, and what to expect before, during, and after surgery.

Pre-Surgery

Sometimes, brain aneurysm surgery is considered an emergency operation, preventing patients from preparing as recommended. While this is acceptable in extenuating circumstances, patients should make every effort to adequately prepare for the surgery. Dr. Arvind Ahuja will provide clear directions for your specific surgery preparation.

What to do before brain aneurysm surgery:

  • Make note of any medications you take, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements
  • Don’t eat or drink in the allotted time before the procedure (Dr. Ahuja will provide a specific timeframe)
  • Take any medications administered by Dr. Ahuja
  • Speak with Dr. Ahuja about any blood thinners you take (including aspirin)

During Surgery

There are a few different types of brain aneurysm surgery: Clipping, coiling, and endovascular treatment. Not all of these methods are invasive; in fact, not all of them even require sedation.

The three types of brain aneurysm surgery:

#1: Endovascular treatment — The treatment of an aneurysm via the body’s blood vessels. This can include using a catheter to place coils directly into the aneurysm, and can be done using general anesthesia. 

#2: Brain aneurysm clipping — The traditional way to treat an aneurysm, using incisions, clips and plates to stabilize the area around the aneurysm. This requires sedation, and usually entails three days in the hospital. 

#3: Coiling — A minimally-invasive alternative to aneurysm clipping. Similar to endovascular treatment, coiling uses blood vessels and coils as a means by which to prevent the aneurysm from filling up with blood.

Post-Surgery

The effects of brain aneurysm surgery vary based on the patient and procedure. However, it’s common to experience the following symptoms post-surgery:

  • Fatigue
  • Numbness or pain near the wound
  • Swelling and bruising on the head/face
  • Swollen scalp

Dr. Ahuja will provide recommendations for easing your specific recovery process. This commonly includes making sure to get lots of rest, taking off work for at least 4 weeks, and avoiding heavy lifting.

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