Houston Methodist Hospital Neurological Institute Cerebrovascular Program offers expert diagnosis and treatment for patients with brain aneurysms.
A brain aneurysm (also known as a cerebral aneurysm) is a bulging or ballooning of an artery in the brain that results from a weakening of the vessel wall. Because there is a weakened spot in the artery wall, there is a risk for rupture and brain hemorrhage, resulting in serious disability or even death.
In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, our doctors utilize the most advanced Computerized tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and cerebral angiography technology to diagnose and evaluate an aneurysm. After diagnosis the team of specialists, including neurosurgeons and interventional neuroradiologists, works with you to develop an individualized treatment plan.
If an unruptured aneurysm is detected, Houston Methodist physicians consider the size and location of the aneurysm as well as patient's age, medical condition, and risk for rupture when developing a treatment plan. In some cases, an aneurysm may not need treatment but the patient will be closely followed by the team.
When a patient has a ruptured aneurysm, treatment is focused on preventing rebleeding and treating ischemic complications which could lead to stroke and death.
A team of specialists including neurosurgeons and interventional neuroradiologists help to determine whether endovascular or microsurgical treatment is the best course of treatment for the patient.
Our ultimate goal is to exclude the aneurysms from the normal blood circulation and to preserve the flow of blood in the unaffected arteries.
Endovascular treatment is a minimally invasive treatment of the aneurysm that, when performed safely, offers long-term blockage of the aneurysm. It is considered the first option for treatment for most aneurysms.
Using angiography, a small flexible catheter is advanced from a blood vessel in the groin up into the blood vessels in the brain, where a microcatheter is placed within the aneurysm. Small intravascular coils are inserted through the microcatheter and into the aneurysm to block the aneurysm but still allow for normal circulation.
Our physicians and surgeons employ the most recent medical advances to treat our patients, including the use of stents to treat wide-necked aneurysms that used to only be treatable through microsurgical techniques.
When endovascular treatment is not an option for patients, your neurosurgeon will perform a surgical clipping to exclude the aneurysm from circulation. Our surgeons are among the most experienced in the country and are skilled at performing the most complex aneurysm clippings and bypass procedures.
The neurosurgeon makes a tiny window in the skull bone to access the aneurysm. Then he places a non-magnetic titanium clip on the neck of the aneurysm to stop blood flow to it. Despite being more invasive than endovascular treatment, microsurgical treatment is the best option for some aneurysms.
Houston Methodist Hospital Neurological Institute Cerebrovascular Program surgeons are dual trained to offer both open surgical procedures and minimally invasive endovascular procedures to treat aneurysms. This skill set allows them to individualize a treatment plan based on what’s optimal for each aneurysm and each unique patient.