How to stop a small aneurysm from growing


I've read many posts of people who are actively getting their aneurysm treated. My 3 mm AN was diagnosed about 9 months ago and a MRA in July 2013 thankfully showed no change. My neurosurgeon recommends monitoring, which makes sense to me.

But, like many of you, I find myself wondering how I got this and what I can do to make sure it does not grow. I wonder if I got this giving birth to my daughter ten years ago, or perhaps I got it when I was electrocuted touching the prongs of a clothes dryer. I do not have any of the obvious risk factors.

To prevent it from growing, I find myself trying to not get my heart rate up over 100, trying to stay calm so that I don't elevate my blood pressure, and generally not exerting myself too much. I've started to do brisk walks on these wonderful spring days. I am being overly cautious?

Has anyone done any research on preventing small aneurysm from growing? AND for those of you who have bigger ones, do you have any underlying risk factors, like smoking or high blood pressure?

If there is a good article, can you send the link? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Be well,


Hi Michele,

I don’t know if there is a definitive answer to how to keep you aneursysm from increasing in size. A lot depends on your risk factors. The link below is to a very interesting video from the Mayo Clinic.

My personal story is that I had a rupture 43+ years ago and has remarkably few side effects. One unruptured annie was “left behind”. Two additional annies were “discovered” 7 years later. They are (1) 5mm and (2) 2mm. I had an angiogram last year and the doctor’s opinion was that there was no significant change in the size or quality of the annies in 35 years.

So, to your question. After my rupture, I was counseled to keep my blood pressure under control, not to get pregnant and to avoid hormones. My doctor also recommended that I not ski because of the risk of falling. He said that he didn’t know what “pot” would do but, suggested that I avoid it (it was the sixties). I followed this advice. I’ve never smoked. I tried a few cigarettes but, I didn’t like it - probably because they weren’t sweet. :slight_smile: The doctor did not advise against smoking but the association between aneurysms and smoking may not have been well known at that time…

Over the years, I have also been counseled by several neurosurgeons over not to “worry”. I have taken this to heart. Also, when I was diagnosed, coiling wasn’t an option. I am very diligent about taking care of my health and being aware of any changes taking place in my body. My faith is strong and I try to remember Matthew 6:34. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

I hope this is helpful to you. May God grant you His peace.


Thanks Carole. Your story is very comforting, knowing that you have lived your life apparently normally and well with the knowledge of having the annies for a long time that have been unchanged. It's good to know that there are people like you on this website -- those who have lived with annies for a long time and not pursued any treatment.

As someone else said, it's a choice we all need to make whether to worry unduely. I will try to be optimistic and not worry too much. If anything, I am thinking of taking a long-delayed trip for the summer, thinking I should take advantage of annie being quite small.

Also the video from the Mayo Clinic is well done.

I appreciate your good advice!


Hi Michele, this is actually really hard, I’m searching for answers and to solve this problems for a really long time, i really think that’s hard!

Hi Michele1. If I was you I wouldn’t take the chance of monitoring. I had a 3mm aneurysm, low blood pressure and little chance of rupture but rupture it did. I died 3 times before being stabilized. That was 15 years ago - get it treated so you don’t have to go through what I went through. Never, ever take a chance with brain aneurysms