After a brain aneurysm diagnosis, surgery is scheduled and performed very quickly, often within 72 hours. The goal is to prevent further bleeding in the brain by isolating and shrinking the aneurysm. As with all surgical procedures, there are risks.
Risks depend on the type, location and size of the aneurysm, and the patient’s physical condition. Surgery poses the lowest risk when it is performed before an aneurysm ruptures, according to clarian.org.
There are two types of surgical procedures, says the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Surgical clipping is used to close off an aneurysm. With endovascular coiling, a catheter is inserted into an artery and threaded through to the aneurysm.
Both procedures pose risks—bleeding in the brain or loss of blood flow to the brain. The endovascular coil is less invasive and may be initially safer, NINDS says, but has a higher risk of subsequent rebleeding.
According to NINDS, ruptured aneurysms can lead to death or disability. Recovery includes intensive care hospitalization to relieve pressure in the brain, maintain vital functions and prevent rebleeding.
After surgery, a patient may experience problems with speech, memory, muscle weakness, balance, vision, coordination, confusion, seizures, stroke, or coma. Swelling and/or infection in the brain, blood clots or paralysis may also be present, reports clarian.org.