Cerebral aneurysm is a swelling that takes place in blood vessels of the brain. It is a common cause of intracranial hemorrhage as sudden blood pressure surges can lead to its rupture. There can be aneurysms of varied sizes and its manifestations will therefore depend on the size as well as its location in relation to the brain matter.
What are the complications of a cerebral aneurysm?
A cerebral aneurysm can give rise to different kinds of symptoms depending on its size although in most instances it can remain silent for a long time. If it becomes significant, it can give rise to headaches, seizures, sudden loss of consciousness, weaknesses…etc and as described earlier, its worse manifestations would be a rupture and therefore bleeding and ischemia that take place at the aneurysm site. Such bleeding can lead to compression of the brain matter, shifting of the same and ischemia of certain parts of the brain. These instances will most likely to be dramatic and it is not uncommon to see such patients presenting with a severe headache, stroke, coma, or even sudden death.
What are the treatments for cerebral aneurysms?
The treatment would most often be surgical and this will involve clipping of the stalk of the aneurysm or else inserting of a coil into the aneurismal dilatation to promote clot formation and therefore lessen the chances of aneurismal rupture.
The procedures are most often carried out under general anesthesia and in the clipping procedure, the surgeons will create a craniotomy to access the aneurysm site and a tiny clip will be inserted to catch the stalk of the aneurysm and therefore arrest bleeding or else to prevent the blood from flowing into the aneurysm. In another procedure called the endovascular aneurismal coiling, a catheter will be advanced through a large blood vessel in the groin in to the site of the aneurysm and a coil will be inserted into the aneurysm thus promoting blood clotting within the swelling and thereby make the aneurysm dysfunctional.
How can the treatment options give rise to complications?
Although many of these procedures themselves can be performed with fewer risks, it will be a false sense of security as the outcome following brain surgery could vary depending on various factors. During clipping, there is a possibility of infarcts to take place and this may lead to a stroke or a paralysis following the procedure.
Bleeding is another possible complication as the complex vascular structure may make the task of clipping an aneurysm difficult and highly skilled operation. At times, it is reported that, clipping and other brain surgeries carried out will lead to occurrence of seizures although these manifestations are rather rare.
At the same time, a person undergoing general anesthesia may develop complications to the medications used and these can range from a severe allergic reaction to mild manifestations in the post operative period.