Coiling or surgery? Pros and cons

Hi, in 2012 I had a Giant Aneurysm diagnosed in my head just under my brain. I was scheduled for surgery but during the MRT and CRT scanning I developed three small strokes and the blood thinning procedure used to solve the problem made the surgery impossible, so I was sent home. Two months later, I found an experienced doctor who solved my problem using 34 platinum coils and three stents. In my case, I came out of my traumatic situation fully healed. What are your views on coiling versus surgery?
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There are pros and cons on both surgeries. Most of the time it is the neurosurgeon who dictates what surgery you can have. I had coils and stent - my neurosurgeon told me because of the location of mine, clipping would be too dangerous and cause brain damage. Clipping is considered permanent. With coiling, the patient has followups for the rest of their life. There are risks to both surgeries, however, clipping is more invasive and the risk of any type of brain damage is higher, at least in my opinion.

I flip flopped before - first I wanted coiling, then clipping. In the end, it really didn't matter as I was told I could only have coiling done.

Glad to see you made it through - 34 coils and 3 stents - that does sound like a huge annie. Where was it located?

Sherri

I wasn't given the choice to which I am thankful - I read so many posts from people who have to choose and I can see they are struggling with the decision. I was coiled on an emergency basis and was told I would of never survived a clipping. If I had to choose today, I would go with coiling. I know it's not as permanent a fix as clipping, but the thought of open skull surgery is not for me.

I also found a large aneurysm at the age of 52, prior to it erupting. My Dr. said it would be better for me to have it clipped because I was too young. He said coiling doesn't last much more then 10 years, so we would need to be addressing it again in the future, clipping would be permanent.

Jim R.

@ Mary, the main artery, left side. I will send pictures.



@ Jim: I don’t agree. If coiling is done right, then the coils last a lifetime. My next checkup is in five years. The experience of the doctor operating is the key factor. An inexperienced surgeon or a neurologist with little experience is dangerous. I went to great lengths to find the right doctor and found Dr. René Chapot, a French specialist in coiling aneurysms (3 to five per day, years experience) and everything went fine.

These are images of my head with the 34 coils and three stents. The operation was a success and I am almost symptom-free. Only an occasional slight headache remains from the aneurysm.
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Image from the front.
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You might want to consider removing your date of birth and full name from those scans before you post them. Too much personal info there for any internet site.

I wasn’t given the choice due to one of my aneurysms rupturing. Another unruptured one was also discovered. Both were coiled. 18 mos later I had to have more coils added to the ruptured one as the original coils had compacted. I was told clipping was a possibility but when told of the risks due to where it was located I opted to just have more coils added. I look at it like my 50,000 mile checkup on the car. That was a year ago. At my last check up in July there was no change to either aneurysm & I don’t have to go back to see the neuro dr until July 2015. It was pretty exciting news since I had gone back every 3-6 months since the rupture in February 2012.

I was just relaying info from my neuro vascular surgeon from Stony Brook who is very highly regarded in the field. He also said that the size of the aneurysm it to be taken into account when making a decision.

Mine was very large, I think 25mm, and in a bad spot. It was a hard decision to make, but went with clipping. All is fine now.



Ole Rom said:

@ Mary, the main artery, left side. I will send pictures.

@ Jim: I don't agree. If coiling is done right, then the coils last a lifetime. My next checkup is in five years. The experience of the doctor operating is the key factor. An inexperienced surgeon or a neurologist with little experience is dangerous. I went to great lengths to find the right doctor and found Dr. René Chapot, a French specialist in coiling aneurysms (3 to five per day, years experience) and everything went fine.

Usually your doctor will tell you “you are a better candidate” for one vs. the other option. What I also learned is that neurosurgeons vary GREATLY in their skill level, so they may be giving you an opinion that another neuro may disagree with. Also, most of the time, one kind of neuro (interventional) does coiling while another kind of neuro does clipping, so they should consult one another as a team. I was lucky enough to find a world- class neuro at NYU who is BOTH a coiler and a clipper. So he could assess both ways and decide what was right. But I only got to him after a totally botched clip surgery by a Yale neuro who was incompetent.



Barb said:

I agree with everything Sherri Long has said. I was clipped because I personally found it was less invasive. I could of had either.

Yes, you have to go for follow up cerebral angios or mris/mras. I'm down to every 2 years for angios. And hopefully the years will get farther apart. But in a way it is a good thing in that it could be used as a preventive measure to detect any further abnormalities or aneurysms

I am very happy your experience was a success!

Hi Liam,

I'm fine with the personal details. I have nothing to hide.

But thanks for the kind advice.


Liam said:

You might want to consider removing your date of birth and full name from those scans before you post them. Too much personal info there for any internet site.

Liam has a good point, Ole Rom. If a member is interested, you can private message them the information, but it is better for your security not to have it on the forum.

I am happy that you all contribute with your experience and your opinions.

I noticed that I still have a lot trauma before and after the experience which hasn't been resolved yet. To quote the saying: "Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully." And because I didn't trust the system I spent two months with the imminent threat of my aneurysm bursting. This has certainly changed my life and I'm sure most of yours, too? Thank God I found the right doctor!

I don’t understand? Is my birthdate and my name too personal? It’s not like those are intimate personal details.



Dancermom said:

Liam has a good point, Ole Rom. If a member is interested, you can private message them the information, but it is better for your security not to have it on the forum.

Hello, Ole Rom, I’m a bit slow welcoming you here, but we are glad you found us, even if it’s too bad that you’re a member of Club BA. What Liam and Dancermom are saying is worth considering. This site is searchable online through the likes of Google, and you might not want the whole world to know all the details of your BA. Just a thought, but of course, it’s your decision.

Glad to hear that you are doing so well!

10 yrs James?? I never heard that!! who told you that??

James Rewinski said:

I also found a large aneurysm at the age of 52, prior to it erupting. My Dr. said it would be better for me to have it clipped because I was too young. He said coiling doesn't last much more then 10 years, so we would need to be addressing it again in the future, clipping would be permanent.

Jim R.