39 and Newly Diagnosed

Hi all,
I was seen in an ER a little over 2 weeks ago for stroke-like symptoms. I didn’t have a stroke but they incidentally found an aneurysm on my ophthalmic artery. I met with the interventional neuro radiologist who is doing an angio on Tuesday and thinks a flow diverter may be the solution. I’m 39 and have no history of head trauma. My doctor said that I am a rarity because I have no underlying cause or reason for having one, and because of my age I should have it treated because I have so many years in my life remaining that the likelihood of rupture is increased.
I’m scared. I have 3 young kids, I’m a nurse, and I’m in grad school. Aside from dropping dead, I’m afraid of how these interventions might affect me—I have read about non-ruptured aneurysm interventions can still cause neurological issues. Anything you can educate me about what to expect would be helpful in easing my anxiety going into this.
Thank you!

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Good Morning! Congrats on being in grad school! First of all breathe. If you don’t know relaxation or mindfulness breathing yet, now’s the time to start learning and practicing all the time so it becomes second nature to you.

I ruptured and it was painful to say the least. Personally I’m not into pain, even with my high tolerance, so I’d try to avoid it if at all possible. That being said, a few things I would suggest - get another opinion or three if you can, learn all you can about the brain, ignore most of the statistics unless the entity quoting them can back them up, and wait until after the semester is over. Unless your surgeon is planning on installing the stent on Tuesday of course. Some members are gifted with that, my surgeon doesn’t do that usually. I would get a diagnostic angiogram and then a week later or so, get the procedure and six months later another angiogram.

Start hydrating now as it makes all the needles going in easier for you and the RNs sticking you. I imagine you already know to do it but it never hurts to be reminded.

Many of our members have no lasting side effects from their procedures for non ruptured aneurysms. Not rupturing is really on anyone’s side. I imagine besides the CT scan ER’s always do for stroke like symptoms, you’ve also had your MRI/A?

I practice what I call getting my house and House in order before any type of angiogram. I take the anesthesia and angiogram warnings seriously. I do not like it when anesthesiologists don’t tell patients all the warnings. I used to have them memorized lol. So I do all the heavy cleaning and yard work prior to any angiogram. We also had our wills updated on the one that my surgeon said to be prepared for a craniotomy but she used a balloon assist. I don’t remember why I’m not a good candidate for a craniotomy just that I’m not. My personal belief is wills should be updated as the need arises and there should always be a will. We never know when a Mack truck is going to hit us, best to be prepared. Also have easy to prepare meals and snacks for after the procedure at the ready.

You’ll need an adult to stay with you for a short period of time. I think it was 12-24 hours after I went home. One time it was 72 hours and the Resident or NP would call several times a day even through the weekend due to a nasty hematoma I received on my femoral artery. Then I went in the next week when she saw patients in the office.

You will absolutely need to stay hydrated and eat lots of protein afterwards. The USA recommends 90 gms/day, the WHO recommends 120, strive for the 120. Our brains need the energy the protein provides, it’s an energy hog. I would have to drink three of those 32 ounce gatorades and twice that in water for several months after any angiogram. Different members have different requirements so make sure to ask your surgeon.

@Johnnak is concerned as well. Please read everything on her topic found here Cerebral angiogram coming up

Hang in there and remember deep slow breaths!

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Hello,what’s the size of yours?
Mine is 2 mm and they just watch. Age 58

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Hi there Kelly!!
That’s very interesting to me that your aneurysm was discovered incidentally after some stroke-like symptoms, as that’s how mine were discovered too. I haven’t noticed any other members of the group with a similar “start” to their aneurysm diagnosis. I do choose to think that I was lucky to have had that weird “not a stroke” incident as discovering it gave me the opportunity to get it seen to before it ruptured.
I wouldn’t recommend my “head in the sand reaction” of ignoring the aneurysms existence for a whole year before finally seeing a neurosurgeon (I had one small and one medium on my Internal Carotid artery).
Due to Covid operating restrictions and my Mother being terminally ill (I chose this delay) my surgery was delayed another year after I’d seen the surgeon and had an angio. Glad you’ve been proactive and already have an angio scheduled.
I was 47 at age of discovery, an active, working Mum of a school age daughter. I was 49 when I had a craniotomy to clip the 2 aneurysms. By that stage, the larger aneurysm was so fragile that it ruptured during the surgery. Moral of my story is of course - don’t wait! Do what needs to be done according to your medical specialist.
Yes, it is scary. I remember worrying that I wouldn’t be me or incapacitated, but I was able to manage complex tasks such as selling our property, finding new accomodation and moving house a month after surgery and then finding and buying another property interstate 6 months after surgery. (Not that I recommend doing all that if you can avoid it, just an example that I was capable of managing large, complex tasks).
It does take some time to recover and I was very tired for a while and I didn’t return to work for 18 months because we moved states. It gave me time to rest and you’ll hear the same from most people who’ve had an aneurysm repair or rupture - be patient with your recovery and rest.
Your youth is on your side, and your brain is wonderfully capable of repair. To me, a flow diverter sounds less traumatic and damaging than a craniotomy. I hope that is a solution for you and maybe some others who’ve had this intervention can add some more comments on recovery.
Please let us know how you go on Tuesday and keep us updated with your progress. Love and thoughts to you.

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4.5mm

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Omg I can’t believe you waited! I’m trying to get this out of the way ASAP. You said you didn’t go back to work for 18 months, but it sounds like that was for other reasons. I’m sorry to hear they had to do the craniotomy. Thankfully mine can be dealt with endovascularly (at least that is the plan at this point.)

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Hi there. My husband’s recent situation is very similar so I thought I’d share. He’d been experiencing persistant headaches for over a month. His peripheral vision affected in one eye was another sign. He too had an unruptured anuerysm that had no explanation. The neurosurgeon recommended endovascular coiling. He had the first procedure which took less than an hour.

The doctor let us know he’d likely need a second procedure which ultimately he did. Although, the whole process is scary he’s almost fully recovered in 6 weeks after the second procedure. The first and second procedure were only a month and a half apart. So around 3 months all together. He did experience double vision and vision decrease. As the anuerysm healed his vision came back rather quickly. Three weeks ago he could barely read a text message on the largest font setting.

We have three young children, so I completely understand how you feel. It’s a scary process for all involved. It’s super important to have lots of support once you’ve had your procedure. I wanted to kick that anuerysm’s ass so bad for putting him in that situation. Having no control over it was the worst feeling. I couldn’t just wave my magic wand and make him feel better. However, I was able to help by spoiling him in every way possible during his recovery. That helped him a lot. He experienced headaches off and on throughout recovery, but he’s now headache free. The fatigue is minimal and his vision is nearly all recovered.

Find a surgeon who’s done 100’s of procedures and is highly recommended. Whether it’s clipping or coiling. They’ll help you make the best decision based on the overall circumstances.

Most of all, just keep reminding yourself you’re already a step ahead by having an unruptured anuerysm identified and treated.

Best of luck to you and your family. This community is a great support system for any additional questions, concerns, or just knowing others can relate to how you feel.

Cheers,

Nyah

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Thank you so much for sharing! The side effects that he experienced are the concerns that I have. Where was his aneurysm? Mine is on my opthalmic artery, which makes me concerned for those vision changes like your husband experienced. I’m glad to hear that he is improving so well.

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@klunk
Congratulations to having your aneurysm found before it rupture!
Yes I actually wrote congratulations because I together with many people on this site know what we are talking about.
I was not aware of the aneurysm in my head, no symptoms before it suddenly ruptured. Lived a healthy life, not smoking etc. You can read more about my journey in my profile.
One thing is clear, no matter what after effects of the surgery you may have, it is 100% better than having the aneurysm rupture! I can understand that you are anxious and it is hard to decide what to do, but I’m sure you are familiar with the statistics…… ruptured brain aneurysms are fatal in about 50%…… many people die before they reach the hospital. About 25% with a rupture die within 24 hours, 50% die within 3 months due to complications. Of those who survive, about 66% experience permanent brain damage.

The after effects can be chronic headaches, memory loss, personality changes and physical impairment.
My aneurysm was small, if I remember correctly it was 2,5x3,4 mm, but it didn’t stop it from rupturing.
If I were in your situation, I would have focused more about the gain of having it done than the possible after effects. Any after effect is in my opinion better than having to go through a rupture, dead or alive. The second surgery when I had a stent and more coils inserted into the aneurysm was a mild breeze compared to when it ruptured.
I am among the lucky ones who came out of it without any major damage and I wish it had never happened to me. It was a terrible experience for me and my family.
To treat a brain aneurysm before it ruptures saves lives.

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I clicked on the link and it’s not a good one. Brain Aneurysm: What It Is, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Try this…

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You are so kind to be a source of support for so many people. I really appreciate everything.

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@Moltroub
Tank you. I deleted my link.

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My 6mm fusiform unruptured aneurysm was found incidently too via MRI as I complaining of left sided headaches and vision change to left eye. I am also a RN. I had the pipeline embolization pricedure a couple of weeks ago. I was told a possible 2% chance of neurological side effects. I suggest you soeak with your neurosurgeon regards possible side effects. It will depend on size, location and type of aneurysm. I suggest to discontinue reading online literature as todays technology and techniques may dramatically differ. So far I don’t notice any side effects. I am more anxious post surgery, but I am only 2 weeks postop. By the way my only risk factor was my died from major aneurysm rupture immediately, at the time I never heard of familial risk of aneurysm until I came upon this site.

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Hi my 9 mm aneurysm was found by accident. Also, I slipped on the ice and hurt my back. Thank God I did ! I immediately the minute I found out research the world‘s best neurosurgeon and found a wonderful neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins. I had a craniotomy was only in the hospital for two days. I could drive after two weeks and thank God I had no after effects other than being tired.! My daughter moved in with me for two weeks and after that, I was pretty much OK

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My husband has a supraclinoid left internal carotid artery anuerysm. It’s basically right between his eyes close to his patuitary and was putting pressure on his optic nerves.

His recovery is still going really good. It’s been just over two months since his second procedure. He has a total of 7 coils, and a stent.

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I also have several unrupture brain aneurysms discovered when I Had TIA type of stroke. (Symptoms of a stroke) After I had a MRI ,during this time, they discovered 4 aneurymns with the largest being 3.5 mm. I also was treated at Christina hospital in June 2023. 4 months later I had an angiogram performed by DR.Albani . Results : Watch and wait. Cat scan in September 2024 unless earlier is needed.

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