Information and suggestions please

Diagnosed with 7.5 mm anterior communicating Annie. Angiogram on 4/17 how many of you went with the recommendation of the surgeon once you had the angio? Typically how long before they schedule surgery mine said within a couple of months is that realistic goal. I have heard they can tell you how likely it is to rupture soon and again they can’t what’s up with that? Need to know what typical limitations can be expected after each type of procedure depending on type. I am primary caretaker for hubby. Shopping bill paying housework etc… They were checking my sinuses and throat for cancer at time this found. I have suffered from occasional headaches and neck pain for years just knew quite frankly I felt like crap and something was going on. Comments appreciated

My Annie was in the same place as yours but 5.7mm in size. After my angiogram they could tell it had a weak spot and very irregular in shape. I had known I had it a year before this test. My neurosurgeon in Arizona wanted to watch it. Since then I moved to the San Antonio area and went with a highly recommended neurosurgeon. Thank goodness for him! He did recommend having it clipped (mine was not a candidate for coiling). After the procedure he stated it was an angry and thinning Annie and would not have lasted too much longer. My surgery was this past October. I did remarkably well, 3 day stay in the hospital, no pain but tired. No driving for a couple of weeks, no lifting heavier than a gallon of milk, no stairs or bending over, nothing strenuous. I’m now 6 months post op and doing very well my hair is growing in nicely also. Hope this was a little helpful.

Hi Lolly,

Same size and location as your Annie - mine was detected by accident during a CT scan. It was coiled less than two months after discovery last September. Didn't have an angio, wasn't even discussed. But perhaps they do it different here in Canada. Surgeon gave me an "excellent" for prognosis post-surgery, and recovery has been going well after the initial post-surgery headache and fatigue mostly due to the anaesthetic. If you are given the choice, coiling is done and dusted in about 3 hours and doesn't involve shaving your hair and cutting your head open.

One thing I have learned on this site is that everyone's experience is different as are the symptoms they talk about. Just remember you are the boss of your body, so stay proactive and ask all the questions you need to ask for your own peace of mind. Hope this helps.

Mine was an anterior communicating artery aneurysm also that was found after a head injury in 2002. We watched it thru CTs and MRIs for years then finally had it clipped November 2013. Surgery went very well. Zero pain. Zero headaches. Tired for awhile though. They only shaved a very thin line of hair from forehead to ear so it was easy to hide afterward. The aneurysm was about 5mm but during surgery they found it had a weakened spot where another aneurysm had grown on top of it - meaning I was lucky they did surgery this time. Clipping seems to be more permanent and many of us have been told by our doctors that we don’t even need to be tested for the next ten years whereas coiling some times has to be redone. I had several opinions before I went thru with surgery at UTSouthwestern in Dallas. Great doctors! Hope this helps!

Thank you for your perspective and sharing but what made you decide on the clipping? At this point the doc seems to think it can be coiled but said maybe not will know more after the angio. I am dealing with Kaiser and only hope and pray that their neurosurgeons are fantastic at what they do. The doc I met with only does coiling so if I go clipping need to meet with a different doc.

Thank you my dad also had an Annie rupture not in the brain. He survived but I didn’t know it at the time how few actually do.

Coiling seemed very appealing at first but the neck of my aneurysm was wide therefore it couldn’t be done successfully. Also, before they made that conclusion, I was seeing that some coilings were later being clipped for various reasons. The idea of brain surgery was initially scarey but after watching the surgery online and hearing others success stories, I really felt relaxed about it. Jan’s positive story gave me all the little details of what to expect. What a blessing to have read that and talked with her as well as others from this site before I had the surgery. The more I researched, the more I relaxed. Some people can’t watch surgery being done but honestly, it seemed so straightforward and simple that it took the fear away. I googled anterior communicating artery clipping videos to find several. Also, you can search this sites member directory by city to find members in your area. They could share their stories and medical provider information with you. By the way, I loved the doctors I met with for coiling! Even though coiling wasn’t an option for me, they taught me a lot about every aspect of what was to come. They also gave great recommendations for surgeons.

My primary neurosurgeon co-managed my care with another Neurosergeon that does coiling also. After my angiogram the decision was made that my Annie could not successfully be coiled. That’s how the decision was made for my clipping. Very thin line of hair shaving and was cut sorta temple to temple. Sounded so scary and caused me a lot of anxiety but was actually not bad at all. I feel very blessed!

I had an 11 mm basilar tip annie that ruptured May 4, 2013. They were able to coil it. The doctors found I have 2 more annies on the left side of my brain that are 2 and 3 mm. I had an angio in August and they had not grown. I go in again on April 22 for another angio. If they are still real small the doc said it is more dangerous to coil than to just monitor them. One side of me I wish they could coil them then I wouldn't be so afraid that they might burst. I'm very hesitant about doing much. I was exercising when mine burst. I will definitely go with what the surgeon says. Having one coiled or clipped before it ruptures is so much better.

I believe anterior communicating…is in same area as carotid in the circle of willis? Mine were/are on the carotid artery. The 9mm was fixed with a stent then they went back in 3 months later and inserted coils…was the plan…think they wanted to be sure stent held fast where it was needed. After coiling they just said…that’s it! more aneurysm. I’m one who has a second one in same area…2mm… I go yearly for MRI/MRA to have them watched. Nothing new…for almost 9 years!

It was not really a choice when I had mine done…something needed to be done ASAP and coiling was like the new wonder drug and the only guy around who could do it was just the next city over. All went pretty good, I was awake for the whole thing…fascinating!

Only problem and for me it was a biggie. After each surgery I bled from my femoral artery…bad. I had to be clamped…literally they clamp you…most painful thing ever…for up to an hour. Off my feet most of the time for 4 weeks each time.

But…a good thing came of that!! When I went (to home hospital this time) for a follow up angiogram…I begged that they take care that I don’t have such a problem… Next thing I’m looking up at these 2 old guys…looked like Albert Einsteins…smiling at me and speaking in very heavy accents. They closed me up with just a quick pinch, patted me and said I’d have no problem. It worked! The angio dr. said they used the ‘European Method’. ??

Had I had that after my surgeries, I’d have been good as gold in a few days. Just after surgery that’s just what the doctors said, too. (If only it hadn’t been for the femoral bleeds.)

My doctors had worried about losing sight and/or hearing with mine if clipped.

I hope I haven’t scared you. I really believe these guys (those involved with stent/coil) saved my life…and perhaps my vision and hearing…

Reply to me if you want to know where/who I went to…world renowned.

So I should ask for the European method of closing my femoral artery as. Think I like that approach. Guess I don’t like the idea of losing my sight or hearing either but we will see what they say. He said sometimes they think they can coil but angio shows no they shouldn’t. As far as opinions go I do not believe my health care provider will allow me to go elsewhere since they have surgeons on staff. I was told this surgery costs amount $300.000.00 and they are not too keen sending outside their network

You have to trust the surgeon you have. Everyone’s case is different. As long as you are with a good hospital

Hi! So glad they found your aneurysm before it ruptured!! Mine was discovered with an MRA after I started having headaches which came on very suddenly. My surgeon gave me the option of clipping or watching it. Coiling wasn't an option for my aneurysm due to the way it was shaped. I decided to have it clipped as my mom had an aneurysm that ruptured as did two of her brothers, none of them survived it, so naturally I said clip it. The surgeon said it had a very weak spot so who knows how long it would have lasted before rupturing. I was diagnosed in April and had it clipped in July. It was very scary thinking about it but it wasn't bad at all. I was off work for 7 weeks and I'm so glad it's all behind me now. I will say a prayer that you. Ask any questions you need to, the more you know the better but I will warn you that a lot of the stories you read are scary so try to remain positive that yours will turn out as well as Carols and mine did. Will be thinking of you!

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Though I just went one city over I did go out of network… Had to go through a review board… Yours sounds about twice what mine was…but again mine was almost 9 years ago…and I was in on the ‘ground floor’ so to speak. Google Dr. Nick Hopkins…just for your own info…

Thank for for your reply but did you have my network as the doctor indicated I would need to have it taken care of by Kaiser. He stated they probably wouldn’t allow me to go out of network since they were capable of taking care of it. Really liked him but again he only does clipping. My hospital hired him away from OSHU in Portland and he’s supposed to be pretty good. Guess I will have some answers soon.

No, am in Western NY… Think
I had Bl. Cross/Bl. Shield at the time. No one did stent/coiling at Strong Hosp. but a neuro. there knew of Dr. Hopkins in Buffalo… I just went and had done as they were all anxious… Took care of the insurance after…again it had to go thru a review board… Took a bit as it was all kind of unheard of then. Mine was called a huge aneurysm because of it’s shape… Not a balloon but a widening of the artery…9mm long. The stent was needed first to attach itself properly, then 3 months later they filled the annie with coil…thru the side of the stent. Again, I’m sorry if this scares you more, doesn’t help your situation. The fear when I found out was unbelieveable…i never realized how it could literally leave you unable to move…I wouldn’t have been capable of having this conversation. I wish you the very best. Nothing any of us would have ever dreamt could even be possible.

Did you feel like crap prior to learning you had the Annie as well as stressed once learned about it. My BP was hitting 160 to 175 when they increased my water pills and prescribed potassium. Still feel like crap taking 1/2 anxiety pill per day. BP down but still feel like I am dizzy most of the day and sick to stomachs most of the time. In your dealings with this site is there a norm as to how most people feel while this going on. Normally I pride myself on being able to deal with things but this is really kicking my butt. The only hesitation I have with the coiling is it sure seems as though so many people seem to have to have it re-done and so many people who have rupture the main fix is coiling. Am I wrong?

Everyone is different. And everyone handles it all differently too. If you haven't learned already how to do breathing exercises to calm yourself - I highly recommend it. The reality is that it is never fun learning you have an aneurysm - or any health issue for that matter. Now that you know, do what works for you. For me, that was looking at it head on. The more I researched, the calmer I was. But I didn't have a choice. When they initially found mine in 2002, they said it was riskier to operate than to just watch it. So I would brace myself before each scan and then end up relaxing afterward because they felt it hadn't grown any and we could watch it until the next year's scan. This last year, being 11 years since the initial finding, I pretty much felt it was going to be time for surgery. Reading Jan's story, watching videos of the operation, having lots of praying friends and praying myself is what made me calm. Others on this site didn't want to know anything at all about what to expect. They preferred to show up for surgery and not be told any of the details. What works for you? Talk with your doctor about medications to ease your stress if you need to. I know you're taking an anxiety medication but you can always talk with your md to see if there might be a medication that would be more helpful. Meditation, yoga, walking... relaxation audio. Take a deep breath... you'll get through this.

Yes, I felt odd before. Maybe 2 years before I had the worst headache ever…but I got through it. Had neck pain…stiffness. When I closed my eyes i could see almost like a doppler go round and round…counter clock wise. Hope that doesn’t sound crazy. That stopped after the surgery. I didn’t really feel as though I was dizzy or nauseous. Have tinnitus…very loud in one ear…some in other. Had it before…still have. I haven’t heard of others say they have it, too. Might not be connected…but I believe it is… Mine was discovered because I was having double vision…up and down. Ya, it was a lot of head pressure and made me sick to my stomach. Ophthalmologist sent me for MRI and discovered the annies(a term I have never used until I just signed on here :)). Some doctors later …within 6 weeks…I had my 1st surgery. That double vision saved my life…and funny part about it, I sneezed (out of nowhere) a good one a few days after the MRI and out came a glob of gel the size of an egg…sinus over left eye had cleared. Vision cleared. Sorry for that …no, I don’t think it was connected… Just a side bar.

Yes, I agree. Do what you can to lower the BP. Laugh, listen to comedians…deep breathing…maybe no caffeine. Maybe take a break from reading anything about all this. Take a walk…even if just a short one. Taking care of your family can be stressful…I hope you have some ‘me time’. Thinking of you and know all will go well. Smile…

Get at least one more opinion, then weigh the options carefully. I had three opinions, had to wait about 2-1/2 months for surgery once I made the decision. My recovery has been great - it's been 9 months now and I'm very active again. Consider us both lucky that these annies were found before rupture! Good luck!