A cerebral aneurysm, also called a brain or intracranial aneurysm, happens when a weak spot in an artery wall fills with blood and balloons out. An aneurysm has the potential to rupture and permit blood to accumulate around the brain, which can be fatal or result in severe brain damage.
Small aneurysms may not cause symptoms or pose any health problems as long as they do not burst. The rupture of a large aneurysm can be life threatening. People who experience multiple, severe symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm should seek emergency treatment.
Whether you have cerebral aneurysm in the Sacramento region, or you believe you may be at risk for one, it’s important to Find a Doctor that can talk with you about treatment options and your life moving forward. The expert neurologists at Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California are here to ensure you receive the state-of-the-art care you need.
Cerebral Aneurysm Symptoms
Signs and symptoms vary depending on the size of the aneurysm and whether it has ruptured. A small aneurysm may not create any symptoms. Larger aneurysms could press on tissue and nerves in the brain causing:
- Pain behind the eyes
- Paralysis on one side of the face
- Numbness or weakness
- Vision problems
Symptoms of a burst aneurysm depend on the severity of the rupture. Even a small amount of bleeding around the brain (subarachnoid hemorrhage) may cause:
- Double vision
- Loss of consciousness
- Sudden, very severe headache
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sensitivity to light
If the aneurysm bleeds directly into brain tissue, rather than around the brain, it is a hemorrhagic stroke and will often cause paralysis in an arm or leg, difficulty with speech, or seizures. If you experience symptoms of stroke, call 911 immediately.
Expertly Treating a Cerebral Aneurysm at Dignity Health
There are two main treatment options for large or ruptured cerebral aneurysms:
- Endovascular coiling. A neurosurgeon puts soft coils within the aneurysm to block blood flow. The surgeon guides a specialized wire instrument through a vein in the leg up to the aneurysm. Another name for this procedure is endovascular embolization.
- Surgical clipping. A neurosurgeon puts a metal clip on the blood vessel to cut off blood supply to the aneurysm. To perform surgical clipping, the surgeon has to remove a small part of the skull to access the aneurysm.
Our neurosurgeons use the latest methods when it comes to surgery for cerebral aneurysm. Your care team will help you understand what each procedure includes and what to expect.
If you have a small, intact (unruptured) aneurysm, your neurologist may recommend monitoring the condition and your overall health.
Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California provides comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for cerebral aneurysms in Sacramento and the surrounding areas, as a part of our neurological services.