Brain Aneurysms

An estimated one in 50 Americans has an aneurysm—and a ruptured aneurysm occurs every 18 minutes in the United States. Fortunately, advances in technology and surgical techniques have led to more successful treatments and better outcomes for people with an aneurysm. The experts at Indiana University Health Neuroscience are recognized leaders in detection and treatment of aneurysms. We provide the hands-on experience, surgical skill and sophisticated technology required for the best aneurysm care.

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1. Diagnosis  
2. Treatment Options  
   

Diagnosis

With a commitment to leading-edge technology, IU Health Neuroscience provides the latest diagnostic tests and brain-scan equipment. Sophisticated MRI, CT, and CT and cerebral angiography imaging allow our physicians to pinpoint the exact location, size and shape of an aneurysm. This leads to highly precise and more successful treatment.

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Treatment Options

Each year, the neurosurgeons and neuroradiologists at IU Health Neuroscience treat a high number of people with aneurysms, using innovative treatments options such as:

Coil Embolization

In this delicate procedure, one of our experienced interventional neuroradiologists inserts a catheter—a thin, flexible tube—into an artery in the groin and guides it directly into the aneurysm. Then, tiny metal coils are threaded through the catheter into the aneurysm. The coils fill the aneurysm, blocking its blood supply and "starving" the aneurysm, causing it to eventually shrink.

Surgical Clipping

Clipping is a surgical procedure used to cut off an aneurysm's blood supply before it ruptures. In this procedure, our skilled neurosurgeons make a small opening in the skull and place a tiny clip at the base of the aneurysm. The clip blocks blood from entering the aneurysm, which can prevent a rupture and cause the aneurysm to shrink. Clipping is a well-established treatment option for aneurysms, with low risk of any future bleeding.

With the most experienced neurosurgeons in the state, IU Health Neuroscience provides confidence and better outcomes for this procedure. IU Health Neuroscience was one of the first in the nation to use a breakthrough fluorescence technology called INFRARED 800 to improve outcomes in surgical clipping. This technology allows our neurosurgeons to switch the neurosurgical microscope from white light to infrared at the push of a button. That causes blood flow in the vessels to appear white on a black background. Any problems with the clips can be immediately identified and corrected, providing our neurosurgeons a higher degree of certainty for fewer complications. It is just one example of the technological advantages available at IU Health Neuroscience.

Learn more about brain aneurysms.

Deb's Story

Deb was hoping for some relief from the discomfort of persistent sinus infections, but instead, was shocked to find out her CT scan revealed she had a brain aneurysm. She was fortunate, though, that the neurosurgery team at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital could repair her aneurysm using surgical clipping and a breakthrough technology called INFRARED 800. In this procedure, Deb's neurosurgeon placed a tiny metal clip at the base of the aneurysm to cut off the flow of blood and cause it to shrink. In treating aneurysms, it is critical that the clips are placed in just the right position to make sure blood flow to the aneurysm is blocked, but that all the branches around it remain open. That’s where the INFRARED 800 technology comes in. This sophisticated technology causes blood flow to appear white against a black background, allowing neurosurgeons to immediately spot and correct any problems with the clip placement.

"It's a new level of safety in surgery we never had before," says Troy Payner, MD, a neurosurgeon with IU Health.

For Deb, the high-tech surgical advancement provided her some reassurance during a stressful time. "With this technology, the surgeons could make sure nothing was bleeding, rather than close me up and find it bleeding later and have to open me up again to fix it," she recalls.

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