Cerebral Aneurysm Treatment

Brain Aneurysm Treatment in Burlington, VT

At Fletcher Allen, we offer comprehensive treatment for patients with cerebral aneurysms – from observation and monitoring of unruptured brain aneurysms to expert emergency care and treatment for life-threatening situations. 

Our neurosurgeons are committed to a personal approach and work closely with you and your family through all aspects of your care. We collaborate with other clinicians involved in your care, including neurologists, neuroradiologists and others, to ensure you get the care you need.We’re committed to making sure you have all the information necessary to make the best decisions about your treatment.

Brain aneurysm treatment options at Fletcher Allen include:

  • Non-Surgical Treatments, including:
    • Lifestyle Changes
    • Observation
    • Medications
  • Surgery, including:
    • Endovascular Surgery and Coiling
    • Surgical Clipping

Non-Surgical Treatments

Depending on your specific cerebral aneurysm diagnosis, the following treatments may help you avoid brain surgery or heal faster after surgery.

Lifestyle Changes

It is important that you are an equal partner in your care.  There are some changes you can make to help reduce the risk that your aneurysm will rupture and the need to have brain surgery, including:

  • Quit smoking and recreational drug use
  • Follow a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and lean meats and proteins
  • Get 30 minutes of physical activity that gets your heart pumping most days of the week
  • Limit caffeine

Observation

If you have an intact cerebral aneurysm that is very small or in a low-risk area, observation and periodic testing may be recommended. We will work closely with you to determine the best method of treating your aneurysm, taking into account factors such as your age, overall health and family history.

Medications

Medications may be used to treat brain aneurysms – either to help prevent a rupture, or to relieve symptoms or complications following a burst aneurysm. At Fletcher Allen, we offer the full range of medical therapies and the latest medicines available. We work closely with you to develop an individual treatment plan that meets your needs.

  • Pain relievers – A pain reliever such as acetaminophen may be used to treat symptoms such as headache pain. 
  • High blood pressure medication – These medicines may be prescribed for patients with unruptured aneurysms who have high blood pressure, to relieve pressure in the blood vessels. 
  • Calcium channel blockers – These drugs work by preventing calcium from entering cells of the blood vessel walls. They can help lessen vasospasm – when blood vessels widen and narrow erratically following a ruptured aneurysm. 
  • Vasopressors – A drug given intravenously that is used to prevent stroke due to insufficient blood flow. It works by raising the blood pressure to enable the blood to flow through narrowed vessels. 
  • Vasodilators – A drug that causes blood vessels to expand. 
  • Anti-seizure drugs – Medications used to treat seizures associated with a ruptured aneurysm.

Cerebral Aneurysm Surgery

At Fletcher Allen, our neurosurgeons provide the full range of surgical procedures to treat cerebral aneurysms – working in collaboration with neurologists and neuroradiologists. We specialize in providing the most minimally invasive approach possible, with the goal of reducing risk and improving quality of life.

Endovascular Surgery and Coiling

A less invasive procedure than traditional, open surgery, this method involves inserting a catheter into an artery in your groin and guiding it to the site of the aneurysm, using x-ray imaging. A thin wire is advanced into the aneurysm and forms a coil, disrupting blood flow and causing a clot.

Surgical clipping

This open surgical procedure involves placing a metal clip at the base of the aneurysm, which cuts off its blood flow, causing it to deflate. Imaging experts identify the exact site of the aneurysm with cerebral angiography. The procedure involves opening the skull, locating the blood vessel that feeds the aneurysm and inserting the clip or clips.

Learn more about cerebral aneurysm diagnosis.

Find a Fletcher Allen Health Care physician or call 802-847-4590.