If you had to do it over again

If you had to do it over, would you get your aneurysm clipped or try the new pipeline stent instead?

My 23-year-old daughter has an aneurysm that has doubled in size in the past year. We live in Seattle, and the surgeon we have so far has given her the option of either. He seems to be pushing the Pipeline, when last year he was definitely pushing the clipping. He told us of the 30 Pipelines done so far here, a few have had hemorrhages, a few strokes, a few lost their vision. We didn't like those odds, but clipping is more invasive so you would think even riskier.

We need some thoughts from those who have been through it. Do you think the risks are worse for an older person? We keep hearing that because she is young and healthy, she will probably be OK with either one. We really don't know what to do.



This is a difficult question for those of us, like me, who have had a clipping, and the results have been good. it is not a question that can be answered fairly by me because I have never had a pipeline, so I have no personal experience with that procedure. I can say that having had a clipping, I am glad that I had it/would choose it again because in my case, the aneurysm is gone and things are going well for me.

I think less invasive is only better if the results are better overall for the patients. What have the results been for your clinic with clippings in comparison to the pipeline? How many have been done and what do the surgeons stats show? I have also heard that the pipeline success really depends on the location of the aneurysm. The pipeline can (should) only be used in certain areas, and in these specific areas they have had very encouraging results. Europe has been using the pipeline longer than we have.

There are more results to look at with clippings because they have been done for over 20 years. The aneurysm I had clipped was near the optic nerve, behind the right eye and my vision is fine now.

I am sending you and your family warm thoughts and prayers as you make your decision and wish I could be of more help. Perhaps there is someone out there who has had both procedures and would be willing to share....

Thanks so much for your thoughtful reply. My daughter's aneurysm is in the same place as yours.

You gave me some good questions to ask when we go for a second opinion Jan. 8. I've been confused because the things I read about pipeline seemed to say that it was developed for giant, large-necked aneurysms that would be dangerous to clip or coil, and hers is neither, so I was surprised the surgeon seemed to be pushing it this year.

It's really hard to know what to do. Thanks so much for sharing, and for your prayers. I'm so glad you've had a good experience. That's very encouraging.


I was told by my doctors @ the Johns Hopkins that I my unrruptured aneurysm (near the left optic nerve) could be treated by clipping or pipeline stent. I was afraid of cllipping, but ultimately chose it because clipping had a longer history and seemed to requre fewer follow-up procedures.

I would make the same choice again, becasue I don't want to worry about it again.

What ultimately convinced me was talking with a woman who had to have 2 clippings in one year because she had aneurysms on opposite sides of her head....she too said she opted for the most permanent procedure possible.

My recovery was not bad...3 days in hospital, six weeks out of work at home.

My eyesight was affected for a few weeks in the first few weeks--it seemd as if the left eye had sunglasses--but it returned to normal adter @ a month.

Your daughter is so young--I hope you will get a second opinion that will help you feel comfortable about making the best choice.

Wishing you & your family the best and keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.