Small blood vessels can cause big problems

Your brain needs a lot of oxygen to work properly, which means it needs good blood flow to carry that oxygen. Numerous tiny blood vessels in your brain supply it with oxygen.

With so many blood vessels, sometimes there can be a structural problem like a brain aneurysm or an arteriovenous malformation. These abnormalities can rupture or burst and put you at a high risk for having a hemorrhagic stroke, so getting treatment quickly is important.

In the past, brain surgery was the only treatment option for these conditions. Today, advances in minimally invasive surgery techniques have made new treatments possible. One of these treatments is a neurointerventional treatment called endovascular coiling.

Repairing an aneurysm without surgery

Endovascular coiling is a way to block the flow of blood to an aneurysm or arteriovenous malformation. With the blood supply blocked, these abnormalities are much less likely to rupture, which can help prevent stroke.

A surgeon will insert a tiny tube called a catheter into a large blood vessel in your upper thigh. The surgeon guides this catheter through the network of blood vessels in your body until it reaches the part of your brain that has the problem.

Once the catheter is in position, the surgeon will use it to insert a tiny coil made of platinum and other materials. This coil plugs the aneurysm. Depending on the size of the aneurysm, more than one coil may be needed.

When all coils are securely in place, the surgeon will then slowly guide the catheter back through the blood vessels and remove it.

Help prevent stroke with neurointerventional treatment

If you have been diagnosed with an aneurysm or arteriovenous malformation, neurointerventional treatment can help prevent stroke. Talk to your doctor to see if this procedure is right for you.

To schedule an appointment with a specialist at Main Line Health, call 1.866.CALL.MLH (1.866.225.5654) or use our secure online appointment request form.