I thought I was on my way

Hi everyone. I had my first 10 month cta last Friday. In to see the Dr. on Tues. to get results . He informed me that I have a small Balloon aneuysm. I don't know why , but I kind of stopped listening to him . I was looking at him, I know he was talking, smiling, reassuring me , but I don't remember much after his first couple of sentences. My time in the now flat world of post rupture apparently has a crack. He says that I can adopt a wait and see life ,and be checked regularly to see if it grows, or he can schedule an angio to really zero in on the little sucker , then know if surgery is the better option , my call because it is presently stable ,and small. I guess I must have had some expression on my face, because he told me that it's only natural if I find myself freaking out . And its good to have options just in case . Well well I say , so I"m not comming into the sun as I had thought , still have some lingering clouds. Can anyone tell me what the heck a balloon aneurysm is ? I don't want to be the pest to my Dr. so soon that I can feel myself becomming. And there are a lot of you guys that have so much more knowledge than me about these things. I would appreciate any input.

My Doctor was right, Freaking out is going to be one of my new best friends. I will know her/him well.


Not sure what he means ,but I think he means saccular which is berry ,small neck and I believe the better shape vs wide neck. So sorry you have more stress. This could be pretty benign if it stays small. Best Kelly

Lots of hugs. I think you should ask for all your questions to be answered by the doctor, you shouldn't walk away with questions. That's what you pay him for. ;) I try really hard to keep thinking to myself "if this man/woman had questions they'd ask, so don't feel you are putting them out by calling/asking/forcing a clear response." Neurosurgeons are smart people and sometimes throw jargon at you and leave you feeling dumb for not knowing. Just remind yourself that they had over 8 yrs to learn that jargon and they need to realize that you didn't. LOL!

I think by balloon aneurysm he means that it is the small necked kind, also called a berry aneurysm. Supposedly less risk, but once you have one rupture I can't imagine not wanting some treatment for any and all aneurysms if possible.

My daughter had a rupture in June 2009 and we are at a the point where they are doing the routine follow up testing. Two weeks ago we had MRI/MRA with and without contrasts done. I had to call neurosurgery to ask them to read the results (and they were the ones that ordered it done). Then they called me back saying that they "saw something" but aren't sure if it is distortion from her braces or clips. Today we tried for a CTA and though they stuck her 9 times, they were unable to get an IV started due to the size of the needle needed. I'm just sick that we are back to 'block one' again and am so worried about another rupture. I feel she survived by the skin of her teeth last time. Though I hate the idea of another surgery for her, if they found another aneurysm I'd opt for surgery in a heartbeat.

Hi Joan -

It sounds as if you may have dissociated temporarily while he was talking - I'm sure due to the shock of what you were hearing. It's a response that many people have under big stress - and may have nothing to do with having aneurysms. It's good you're asking questions - but DO ask your doctor!!! You pay him/her lots!

i believe all annys r balloon because its a bulge in the blood vessel, some small neck or wide neck also different in size…mine was 5mm and ruptured in the basilar tip artery…i think by him telling you its small is saying its a atch n monitor the growth…but its up to you on having it obliterated from causing any trouble…always much better to treat b4 a rupture…i was very lucky n had no mental or physical deficits…other than freaking out with every twitch n my head at the beginning…time has seemed to help n making you feel safer n alot of faith…will keep ur daughter n my prayers for a quick resolution…God bless n stay strong…

Thanks so much to all for taking the time to help. All your input has helped. I guess because the last time what I had was a10x8x7mm rupture and a sah. there was no "lets discuss this " from the neuro surgeon. It was this is what you have and this is what were going to do, because there was no choices. I guess ,when I went back to the Dr. for follow up after the cta I didn't expect him to tell me this ,and to say that it was there right along,with everything else....I kinda felt like the walls were closing . I thought I was done with this ,just follow ups you know . Well after a little time to calm down and shake off the impending doom ( Ha Ha )and reading all your very kind and logical responses , I think I will call back and schedule the angio and go from there. You guys are the best. I'm so lucky to have found this place . I am in a better place emotionally . Even my family scared the crap(sorry) out of me . Here is a place where there is a better understanding because you all have been there at some point in your lives and have made it through. I hope to be there too . All my best thoughts to all of you.


Hi Joan...that is not pestering the Doctor...you have every right to ask he/she your question...I think the balloon is another way of explaining an annie...it balloons out of the artery wall...either way...you have an annie...now you have chooses to make...and only You and the faith you have in God and Your Doctor...

Gotcha in my Prayers...Colleen

Hi, Joan. I am so sorry that your checkup did not go better. I understand the "tuning out" - when I was going through bc treatment, I found that I often did not remember anything the doctor said and sometimes had to call her to ask again (which she always called back and reassured me that this was normal).

I assume you went to Dr. Schirmer? He was very patient when I saw him last with all the questions (plus questions from some friends who took me and sat in). Except that he evaded the question of if it had grown (at least that was the way I took it). I am glad you are having the angio for more clarification. Is this one in a different location?

Another thing I found really helpful during my BC, was to ask for reports of all tests. Not only is it helpful for future references, but it helped me to further understand. (I have gotten out of the habit - forgot to ask for the report on the angio).

Let us know when your angio is scheduled. Maybe we will cross paths!



I am so sorry that your daughter had such a hard time with her CTA. Do you know if they are planning another test? Poor thing, it must have been awful for her to be stuck so many times with such a large needle.

Welcome and keep us informed on her progress - she has gone through so much in her life already! Thoughts and prayers to your family.


i’m sure it’s shapes like an oval to resemble how it lays.

Hi Joan: I seem to remember reading a balloon annie is aka a “berry”. Different is a fusiform annie which is elongated on the artery rather than a bubble off of it. I could be mistaken but this is what I remember. I have 3 watch and waits the largest only 3mm so the docs talk about it like it’s nothing at all to be concerned about so I’m trying not to be. Good luck and hope you can get to that place. Clouds enhance the canvas that is the sky! Mitch

Welcome and wishing you lots of into to get your lsit of question to ask your md ... and, hope you do that follow-up before making your decisions...

The angios are the goldstandard rad; and do take essentially all day, including the recovery time.

May I ask why you had a ten month CTA? And, do you remember which artery your md described?


Hi Sherry,

Yes I did see Dr. Schirmer and he was also very patient , explaining everything . I guess he saw the expression on my face . He also mentioned "freaking out " as a perfectly normal responce . He told me that with all that I went through ,taking a wait and see for a year until my next cta might be too much for me emotionally . He is leaving it up to me . Good luck on your upcomming procedures. you have been in my thoughts


Hi Pat,

I had a 10month cta for post crani with clipping (my first) to check on the clip and to see if the vaso spasm has completely resolved ,which it has . I guess this is when he schedules them . He told me the aneurysm is small and its in the supraclinoid left internal carotid artery. (He wrote it down for me) He also wanted to check the condition of the right temporoparietal infarct for weaknessness.( I had a stroke post op because of vasospasm ) Also he said he was checking the subarachnoid space for a continuing resolving hemorrhage ,which it is . So I thought everything was good until he brought up a balloon aneurysm .



Thank-you for responding in such a calming way .As soon as I can look at this clinically , I intend to call my Dr. back and ask a lot more questions . He made a point of telling me that I would be ,and it was ok with him . I just went into a momentary lapse because I thought everything was done . I still have issues from the rupture and all the complications . I thought that was enough to deal with (in my mind.) I so appreciate all the logic everyone has responded with . I feel like a toddler . This helps :)



Hi Laurie,

I don't know why he called it a balloon, but I'm going to find out why when I call him back. What you say about it sounds better than what he said . He needs to clarify this with me


Shawna ,

I 'm so sorry your having to deal with all your daughters issues. My heart aches for all the decisions you have to face concerning her . Please know that you are in my thoughts and I appreciate you taking the time to help me calm down .


Hi Jaycie,

I think you are absolutely right. When he told me I stopped listening to the sound of his voice . I just remember his mouth moving. I didn't even bring anyone with me to the appointment. (stupid) I think he realized this because he wrote a few things down and told me to call back when I had decided what to do or if I had anymore questions.



Thanks for your input . You have given me more questions to ask when I call him ,and I'm going to when I've calmed down a little more


Hi Mitch,

I wish that I was in a place that I could ask questions when I had my post cta visit. I feel so stupid that I didn't ask anyone to come with me. This will never happen again. That way , if I zone out, someone else can at least listen to what is said so they can tell me later. I hope I can get my mind in the place yours is in . Maybe if I get a little time behind me. Its so strange to me, before , I was a take charge ask when it happens multi-tasking person. I have a hard time accepting the new me . You seem to be in a better place . I hope to get there too.