Clipping scheduled for Dec 16th

Hi friends,

I was having strange and severe eye pain in the beginning of November. I have always struggled with headaches, although they have gotten much worse over the past few years. I am extrememly sensitive to lights, sounds, smells, crowds, foods. I get dizzy often. Went to the opthamologist after a week of eye pain and he said nothing was wrong with the eye. Maybe I should see a neurologist, he suggested. MRI/MRA later and 7 mm unruptured aneurysm found behind my left eye, just inside the brain. After angiogram at UPenn, because of it's location my neurosurgeon said that coiling is not an option, she is afraid I might lose the sight in my left eye. Having suffered with migraines, I am afraid of the after effects of the clipping. I lead a very active, very healthy lifestyle. I have taught yoga for 10 years and teach people about plant based diets as well as managing stress through healthy living. I am also a single mom of an amazing 14 year old. For weeks I have been fatigued but doing my best to stay balanced. I read a lot of stuff on here about people's experience with their new selves after surgery. I am of course, apprehensive and concerned about what awaits me after surgery. You thoughts, please?


well unruptured is always a better and quicker recovery, in any event dont rush the recovery it takes a bit.

Hi Nicole,

Telling you not to worry would not help but you sound like your pretty healthy and busy.. Everyone recovers differently. Laurie is right when she says that unruptured is alway better. Keep positive and take your own time..

Many thoughts and prayers


Nicole, my unruptured aneurysm was detected as a result of my annual eye exam on Jan 13. After MRI's, CAT scans and spinal tap it was confirmed that I had an aneurysm on my ICA resting on the optic nerve of my left eye---- sound familiar? Two neurosurgeons said clipping was the answer - due to location and my age (I'm 63). The clipping done in April was successful; I had no headaches (haven't had one headache since surgery!), took few pain pills, but did suffer some fields of vision loss and peripheral vision issues. I thank God and the many who prayed for me that I'm hear to share this information for it could have been much worse.

I did have some complications of infection but that's another story and very rare. Once you are clipped, your annie worries are over. You will just deal with some numbness as your nerves regenerate and your brain heals. You definitely will need time to rest after the surgery.

Best of luck to you.. You will be in my prayers.

Hi Nicole and welcome to BAF!

I see you live in Havertown, I live in Boothwyn, just on the I95 state line between Delware and Pennsylvania! I had a 9mm and 2mm annies found incidentially when I was admitted to the hospital for what I thought was a heart attack. Turned out I had a blood clot lodged in my left arm, but in checking me out from head to toe,the docs at Crozer Chester Medical Center found two annies in my left and right internal carotid arteries both at the ophthalmic artery. I was immediately transferred via ambulance to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital for Neurosciences where I met the most incredible neurovascular surgeon, Pascal Jabbour. Dr. Jabbour and the neuro team at Jefferson are the best and TJH treats the largest combined volume of brain tumors, aneurysms and AVMs in the nation annually!

Having said that, once I was at Jeff, I was scheduled for an angio the next morning with a possible coiling. The doctor told me that clipping was really not an option for me due to the 9mm annie being too close to the optic nerve and the chances of him blinding me with the clip were very high. The 2mm annie wasn't even talked about since he said that it was too small and it was better to leave it alone until it grew to 5mm or above. My coiling failed, becuase once he was able toget a better look with the angio, he found the mouth of my annie to be huge. I was removed from the OR and sent back to my room, where Dr. Jabbour met with me and my family to discuss my options.

I had two options, 1 - there was a new FDA approved stent called the pipeline embolization device (or PED) which was basically a stent placed in the artery which would take over for the artery and divert blood flow away from the annie. My 2nd option was do nothing. Didn't have much of a choice at that point did i? Of course I opted for the PED and was sent home for 10 days and put on Plavix and 81mg of aspirin to get ready for the PED insertion.

Surgery day came 10 days later and I was in surgery for a little over 2 hours (which they told me was quick for the PED surgery) and was put into ICU for overnight. I have two PEDs telescoped to cover the mouth of the annie, that's how wide the mouth was!! Of course, everyone knows how much sleep you get in ICU when they are at your bedside every 5 minutes, and also, I was not allowed to move or the alarm on my bed would keep going off! Needless to say that was quite annoying!! It didn't matter thought becuase I was alive and I wasn't blinded by a possible clipping and the PED saved my life.

If your annie is in the internal carotid artery, or that area, might I suggest you speak to your surgeon about the PED and whether you are a candidate for it? It is less invasive -- it;s done via catheter through the femeral artery up to the brain.

I just wanted to mention the PED to you since you do have a young child and clipping surgery is very invasive surgery ( I Have a sister who had a clipping for an anterior communicating artery annie one year prior to my annie surgery). I do know that they only do the PED in the ICA area, and mine were both behind each of my eyes, and becuase it is realtively new a lot of surgeons are not familiar with it.

Although my PED surgery was a breeze and I have had a few ups and downs with migraines, it in no way compares to what people who have had clippings have gone through. I watched my sister for 3 months try to do basic tasks that took her a lot longer to do than her pre annie days. I would say two and a half years later, she would say she is about 90 percent back to her presurgery self.

Just wanted you to know that there are other options out there and maybe you can talk to your doctor about whether you are a candidate for something less invasive.

Best wishes and as everyone has said, better that you have found the unruptured annie. Keep postive thoughts and I will keep you in my prayers.


Hi Nicole,

Ask if the onyx HD 500 (liquid embolization) is an is less invasive (similar to coiling) but the annie is filled with a substance that hardens in the sac. Seems to be working for me. I have my 6 month angiogram in the morning...can't sleep,...I will let everyone know the status. It is an option besides clipping if the PED is not suitable for you...


Hi Nicole,

I had my aneurysm clipped this past Feb. Mine was 8mm on the middle cerebral artery. As everyone says, recovery is different for everyone but be patient, go slow and get plenty of rest. Mine was unruptured as well however, it's brain surgery none the less. I have short term memory issues, I'm somewhat below average now in perception and at times trying to think of words mid sentence can also be a problem. Following your surgery, you will be fatigued and will likely feel that way for several weeks/months. I still have days when I've pushed myself just a bit too far and the next day is resting up day because of it. The best piece of advice I can give you is to be patient with yourself and go gently. It takes a good year to recover from a craniotomy and sometimes longer. This has been my experience anyway.

You'll get through this and I wish you all the best

Nicole--I, too, have had migraines for years--and become light, sound, & movement sensitive when I get them. I was diagnosed with an unruptured AVM (arteriovenous malformation) in April. A craniotomy for the AVM could lead to loss of left-field of vision & left side motor deficits, so I had Gamma Knife Radiation to begin shrinking it in June. One aneurysm was found during the scans to plan treatment for the AVM. The second was found & clipped during the crani to clip the first one in July. I have my 2nd GK treatment on Dec. 14.

Between being told to do nothing to bonk my head, recovering from my first angiogram, then having to catch up on paperwork (I teach Special Ed. 9th grade English), and then recovering from the craniotomy, I didn't attend a dance class for 4 months. I started back dancing 4 weeks after the craniotomy. I went back to work 6 weeks after surgery (I was able to go back to work when teachers went back for inservice the week before school started). I was very tired & had to take it easy, but I was back to living my life. Headaches got bad again in September, but an MRI showed good things, and I went to a neurologist to work on the migraines, which seem to be under control for now.

I am very grateful to have no deficits other than being slightly more scatterbrained (I can blame it on the blonde hair) & that I tire a little more easily.

My husband's annie wasn't behind his eye, but he had clipping done a year ago and is fine. He did have headaches afterwards for about a month, but once they subsided, he was more tired than anything. He was off work for a little over 2 months, but, from what I've read on these boards, everyone is different. Some people bounce right back and have no problems. I'm thinking every case is different. Fatigue IS a word I have read repeatedly though.

God bless you and keep us posted. We care.

Thanks to everyone for your info, sharing and advice. I spoke with my doctor today re: the alternative treatments (liquid, pipeline) and based on the size and shape and location (very close to the optic nerve), those treatments are not an option for me. I appreciate the time you took to share your experiences and with only 1 week to go, I am trying to stay present, listen to my body and slow down a bit. I will post when I am back from the hospital. Happy Holidays to all.


Nicole, Do a Google search for aneurysm surgery through eye lid. There are a pair of surgeons in Pittsburgh, Dr. Aziz (neurosurgeon) and Dr. Happ (neuroopthamologist) who perform clipping surgery though an eyelid incision. There are only a few in the country who can do this and their success rate is around 96%. You should find a news feature story on them when you do the Google search. They can only do this on the ones behind the eyes. It is a bit less invasive and these guys are amazing. The incision is similar to an eye lift incision. Might be worth a consult.

Hi Nicole...

Some of the "new normal" ... are good things too for many of us...infact, some of the symptoms you are dealing with now will go away...for ie., for almost 6 years I dealt with "the dizzie's"...the room spinning, etc., It was so bad ... if I was driving it would go from dizzy to a panic attack...Doc's diagnosed me with vertigo, inner ear infection, anxiety, etc., and since my coiling on my Anuerysm...I haven't had this don't be scared of the changes, some will be positive...the other promises from me..."one day at a time"...being healthy (going into this surgery) will really make a big difference...the rest...will come from our prayers and is a long road, but keep in mind...once fixed ... you will be able to move on to Life...

I am not going to tell you not to worry (because that is tough)...I am not going to say, everything will be fine...because I don't know...I will tell have my prayers and support...

cyber~prayers and hugs your way...Colleen