Brain Aneurysm Support Community

First postop angio vs MRA

Hi everyone, I am due or my 6 month follow up angiogram in December. During my postop period, I went to 3 different neurosurgeons bc of postop right sided numbness.

I am since doing GREAT. My question is: One doctor says doing just an MRA will suffice for my 6 month follow up, but the one that did my surgery wants to do an angio per protocol, not because of me personally, but bc thats what they do with every patient with coiling and stent.

My dilemma, I do not want anyone in my brain again at all and I would rather do the MRA bc it involves less risks. Just looking for suggestions. I know I am the ultimate decider, but what do you think? Has any of you had just an mra post coiling and stent as opposed to an angiogram?



I hope someone answers, because this is one of my concerns, too.

Hi Jennifer,

I had an angiogram for the first followup of my ruptured aneurysm. I had a coiling done at the time of the aneurysm. In fact, the hospital where I was originally treated, and who had a brilliant interventional radiologist who coiled my aneurysm, no longer had a doctor to do the angiogram on staff. They very carelessly fired my surgeon. So, anyway, they had a doctor from Buffalo come to Erie to do the angiogram. It was kind of fascinating since I was awake for the angiogram and the doctor was talking to me through the procedure. It was strange to have someone looking inside your brain while talking with you to be sure. Now I just have MRA's done as a followup. It was just the first time that required an angiogram. Good luck to you in your journey.

Jennifer, I had both an mra and angiography at my first 6 month follow up appointment. And 12 months as well. An angiography gives the best information about the position of your coils and the mra is done for comparison purposes. You may experience some degree of the coils settling in the first 2 years that could cause a need to add additional coils to be placed. My advice is have the mra and then visit your neurosurgeon to find out if results show any changes and then decide after consultation with the md. I wasn’t thrilled about having angiograms but I sure did not ever chance another rupture! I was fortunate to have survived the first time!

Thank you. Im going to do an MRA first and then determine the angio. I just dont like the risks of it, but its better than having one rupture

Oh that’s good to know. I am definition doing the mra first before taking risks w the angio and go from there as well. I have dreams and goals to meet while I am still here, and do not want to risk those being not possible. :slight_smile:

Definitely i meant. Phone drives me crazy

I had coiling for a rupture 2 years ago and they did a contrast ct scan after it. That showed one small aneurysm. After an angiogram in June, my doc could see that the artery was bubbled with aneurysms and the neck of the big one had become wide. I was so scared before the angiogram, that something would go wrong because I’ve come through the rupture, grade v, very well. I’ve now had a stent placed and am recovering again. There are risks with all our procedures, but your docs have reasons for preferring some over others. I think we need to understand all the pros and cons.

I know when I had my followup angiogram, it really wasn't that big of a deal for me. I think the worst part about it that I can recall was lying still for 4 hours after the procedure... I'm just not that good at lying still that long! lol ... and I don't recall anyone "in my brain" again they just shot the dye for contrast into the veins going up into the brain. I was awake and watching it as it traveled through the vessels. Actually, I thought it was very interesting. Maybe aside from a bleed (which, I have been told can possibly be fatal if it does not clot properly?) in the groin area where the catheter went in I'm just not aware of any other risks involved. Any idea what the other risks are? Thankfully, I was told though too that I never have to do an angiogram again.

So wait, they’re not in your brain at all then? I thought they take the catheter in your brain and take pics???

they went to the heart and injected a contrasting dye through the veins leading up to 4 different sections of the brain and took images of it as it traveled through. Ask more questions from your doctor and get verification on this but, this is what my experience was

and like I said, the worst part I had was laying flat on my back for 4 hours without moving afterwards with a compression bandage on my groin area where they inserted the catheter. I laid there and watched tv and ate McD's that my wife brought in and they came around I think every 15 or 30 minutes to check and make sure there was no major bleeding or anything around where they put the catheter in. I was awake for the whole thing talking to the doctors and nurses and the only thing I felt during the actual angiogram was a slight warm feeling moving through my veins upward as they injected the dye. The next day, I removed the bandage and everything was all ok and back to normal again. For me, It really didn't seem like that big of a deal. I am not offering any medical advice or anything else of that nature... but, found a link that kinda sums up what I remember from my angiogram.....