Brain and Spine
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What is Aneurysm Clipping?

A cerebral aneurysm clipping is surgery to repair a weak spot on a brain blood vessel. A cerebral aneurysm is a bulge on an artery wall.

A brain surgeon or neurosurgeon performs the operation.

The surgeon begins the procedure by opening the skull. This is called a craniotomy. The doctor positions a clip across the weak spot of the vessel. The repair prevents the aneurysm from bleeding and causing more injury.

In his brain surgery practice in Portland, Oregon, Dr. Kuether repairs brain aneurysms.

He may choose to perform clipping or a less invasive operation. When possible he uses a catheter to complete an endovascular repair. This type of surgery does not require opening the skull.

Sometimes clipping is the best option for patients. Here’s a more detailed overview of the operation.

What Is a Brain Aneurysm?

Doctors often describe a cerebral aneurysm as looking like a balloon filled with blood. Some of these bulges remain small and produce few or no symptoms.

Possible symptoms include pain behind or above the eye, numbness or paralysis of the face and changes in vision. A bleeding aneurysm can cause severe pain, nausea, double vision and unconsciousness.

If you have any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor or go to the emergency room.

Why Do Surgeons Perform Aneurysm Clipping?

Clipping stops blood flow to the aneurysm. Unrestricted blood may enlarge the bulge causing the vessel to rupture. A burst aneurysm is a life-threatening injury.

Clipping prevents rupture and may also reduce the size of the aneurysm. The larger the balloon, the more pressure it exerts on the surrounding tissue.

What Is Aneurysm Clipping?

The procedure is performed in a hospital under general anesthesia. The surgeon removes a section of the skull to find the aneurysm. The doctor then places a metal clip on the base of the bulge.

The clip remains in place to prevent further enlargement and ruptures. The surgeon replaces the skull and closes the opening.

How Successful Is the Operation?

Clipping is effective at permanently repairing the artery. Patients and their doctors must weigh potential benefits against possible risks.

The risks of aneurysm clipping are bleeding, infection and symptoms similar to stroke.

How Long Is Recovery?

Recovery varies depending on the patient’s health. If an aneurysm is repaired before it ruptures, a patient may be able to leave the hospital after a few days.

If the aneurysm has broken, the hospital stay could stretch to two weeks or longer as medical staff closely watches for side-effects.

Skilled Portland Brain Surgery

Dr. Kuether is highly skilled and experienced in brain and spine surgery. He thoroughly evaluates a patient’s condition before recommending a carefully considered course of treatment.