Information on clipping

I am 66 years old. I had a pipeline procedure done in March 2014 in my left internal carotid artery. It was successful but did take several months for recovery. It was near the optic nerve so I had double vision for awhile and was extremely tired all the time. Basically it took 4.5 months before I felt like I was getting back to the "real world" again. Now I am facing a clipping of the anterior communicating aneurysm on Wednesday, Sept. 24. I am very scared of the whole thing but to do nothing is even more frightening. I have a strong support system but none of them have ever experienced something like this. They do their best and say "it'll be alright" but that isn't giving me the comfort that I need. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has experienced this. What to expect? How long did for your recovery and anything else you are willing to share. I found this website in February and was shy about writing in but today I feel it is the right thing to do. Thanks for listening and God bless you all.

Ah God Bless you to Hon...I hope you have something to help with the anxiety until your surgery on Wednesday...it helps that you continue to get your rest, stay calm, etc.,

I am going to pass this out to our member base and see if we can get some help and support...

Try and keep positive and sending out some prayers and thoughts your way ~ Colleen

Hi, I had my clipping in November 2013. It sounds like our aneurysms are in the same place. I feel like I initially recovered well but 2mths after recover I started feeling pain. After many dr appt I found out it wasy nerves recovering. It now take medication to help with that.
My advice to you is don’t rush your recovery. Take it easy & ask lots of questions. For me it was a time to be selfish. My recovery was mine & no one could tell me how I was supposed to feel. Few people know what you’re going through, so post questions a lot, it really helped me.
Good luck, I’ll be thinking of you on the 24th.

I had a clipping of two aneurysms 5 years ago when I was 63. Frankly, the craniotomy was a much easier experience than the rupture of the one three months prior. I was out of the hospital within 48 hours with 36 staples across the top of my head, a black eye like I had been slapped senseless, no pain, but very tired. I also experienced throbbing and tingling pains at a later time, a sound like rushing water, and a myriad of strange noises and feelings for quite a while. I was told it was the nerves repairing themselves. The fatigue remains, some days much worse than others, but a bit of a nap does wonders in the afternoon. Best of luck. Be thankful it was found before it had the chance to do some real damage. Best of luck! We're all cheering for you.

I had my clipping October 2013 in the same location. My neurosurgeon was terrific, very little hair shaving, just a thin line. My recovery went smoothly. I was in ICU 4 days and had fantastic care, I was actually discharged from ICU, I had an issue with nausea. Very little pain, tired when I got home, but I followed Dr’s orders to the tee! No driving for 2 weeks and I took very little pain meds. I feel very blessed! God Bless You and I pray that your surgery and recovery goes well!

I don't know much about the recovery from clipping but what I can offer you is the knowledge that luckily your aneurysm didn't hemmorage and that will definately make your recovery easier and utimately safer as you don't have to deal with stopping bleeding along with the surgery. I would say for sure it would be more frightening for you to wait for a rupture so good luck with the surgery - I am sure you are in good hands!

Hi Dphalen, glad you decided to write in for support. I know we're all different so I'll just share a bit of my journey. I had my unruptured aneurysm clipped on 9/26/13. I had prepared for it by getting a recliner to keep my head elevated. I also bought a pillow wedge but that didn't work for me but I've read about others here who it helped quite well. I bought one of those gripper arms to help me pick things up or put laundry into the washer/dryer since I wasn't supposed to bend over. It also helped in trying to catch the dogs' tails for entertainment (smirk). After surgery I found that I needed a walker and shower seat for a few weeks until the dizziness settled down. I couldn't drive for the first five months because of some vertigo issues but I found tremendous help with physical therapy. In the beginning I had alot of trouble with food and sinus sensitivities but that all went away. I also had alot of trouble with too much noise, loud noise, vibrant fast moving commercials, etc.. But that also started to improve but I must say that almost a year later I still have trouble with children's voices and crowded noisy spaces. In the beginning I had trouble remembering my son's name but that lasted one week. Numbers, names of things came slowly so I did a charades type of thing to make myself understood. I used to forget alot so started keeping notes in my cellphone with alarms to remind me what to do. I noticed great improvement with all this as I exercised my brain with games, organizing activities, and especially with sharing here. I'm sure you'll hear many of us hit a sort of depression. It blindsided me but I was able to manage it without medication by keeping myself busy with volunteer activities at the Habitat for Humanity. I can't do physical stuff but my mouth talks alot now so I help with activities that involve my yapping. I know you're afraid right now. Perhaps feeling like you're holding your breath. But you are correct that doing nothing is more frightening. I'm sending you a huge supportive hug. Be strong. Be brave. Have faith and God bless you too.

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Hello! Fortunately or unfortunately, I didn't have time to prepare for surgery. The classic 'thunderclap' headache and next stop the ER for me. I don't envy you the anxiety or anticipation of the unknown. You have a lot of things in your favor. They know the aneurysm is there, they can plan the surgery in advance, and it hasn't bled--all good. You are right that doing nothing is the most risky thing. I had a second brain surgery that I had time to prepare for and at some point, I gave up on the anxiety and decided that I just had to put the future in the surgeon's hands. There's nothing I could do that would make a difference. "Whatever will be, will be. The futures' not ours to see. Que sera, que sera. ' The most profound things after surgery were the vision changes, but they were temporary, The head hurt but they kept painkillers flowing. I was aware that I was having a hard time understanding everything, but that was temporary too. The third thing was how tired I was. Everything seemed impossibly hard, getting out of bed was like climbing Mount Everest. I asked the nurse if I could cook when I got home and she said 'yes, but you won't feel like doing it.' Very true. My balance was affected and I learned to move slowly, but that got better after 10 weeks or so. The long-lasting effects were fatigue, headache and emotional responses. My memory has been affected for the few years before the aneurysm and the year or so after it. One of the neurology students said there was an expression, 'you ain't never the same when the air hits your brain.' True. Not the same, but I'm still here. Best of luck to you. It will be a rollercoaster ride, but know that it gets better over time and that if you keep trying and trust yourself, you'll keep getting more of yourself back. We'll be thinking about you on the 24th!

Agree. Blessings were sent to you to find the aneurysm before it ruptured :slight_smile:

I had a clipping in January 2009 (age 52). You have made a great choice by doing your research with this organization, and reaching out to those of us who've made the same journey. Trust your surgeon to know what to do, that made a huge difference in my stress level before surgery. As far as recovery-sleep, sleep, and more sleep. Don't do things that make you tired or stressed. I tried to read at the hospital-not the best idea! You will be able to do things you don't think you can. I ended up doing lots for myself when I returned from the hospital because my father-in-law was hospitalized at the same time and my husband was hanging out with him. I set myself up a nest and hung out on one floor of my 2 story house. I made my meals, got to the bathroom, etc. I used one of those bead-filled travel neck pillows and an assortment of others to get my head comfortable for the first week or so back. I learned to ice my sore head, listen to quiet music, and go to a quiet dark place when I hurt. My aneurysm was behind my right eye (opthomalic artery), close to the optic nerve at the My surgeon gave me the ok to do things before I felt ready-like drive and go back to work (I'm a preK teacher). 7 weeks post surgery I flew to Daytona Beach from Maryland. I had little pain just after the surgery, but like Dodie and Aleki I had nerve pain afterwards. 5 1/2 years later I'm pretty much my old self, have an occasional migrane-like headache, and am thankful every day that I was diagnosed, the aneurysm was repaired, and that there are these support places that we can get this kind of information from! That wasn't the case 5 1/2 years ago and I often felt like I was doing this alone. You'll be in my prayers on Wednesday.

Hello Dphalen, I had an aneurysm clipped via craniotomy last October. I too was scared of this surgery but was surprised at how quickly I recovered. Previously I had angiogram coiling of aneurysms and a craniotomy seems so much more invasive and "brutal". While in hospital I looked like I had gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson but the swelling and bruising quickly settled, I took pain meds for some weeks but that too settled down. Feeling eventually returned to my face and scalp. I am 57 years old. Don't be frightened. Best wishes, Julie

I remember the fear a few years back! It's not like having your tonsils out or anything, however, I think you will do just fine. Just please be patient and allow for your recovery time. :) I tried to do too much too soon and paid for it. Prayers are sent your way. :)

Liz

I forgot about that sound! I do have a few lasting affects of some things but don't want to mention them at this time as I'm sure her surgery will go very well! Nothing too bad and I'm just so lucky to be alive!

Liz

As I read through these very supportive posts I am reminded of the things I also went through. I'm so glad that everyone is being so honest. Physical therapy was also great for me and the memory issues have also improved. Once in awhile I forget words but I think it also depends on where the surgery is done. I had two of them right together and was Blessed that they caught them before they burst. I have a feeling you are going to do spectacular Dphalen! God Bless!

Hi Dphalen. Have faith dear, and know we will all be thinking of you and praying for you on the 24th, so try to be brave and confident that you are in good hands with your surgeon. Dealing with an unruptured aneurysm is almost always smoother and an easier recovery.

My journey has been luckier than many and I am grateful every day for my good fortune. At age 66 I went in on February 12, 2013 to have a 15mm unruptured aneurysm on my right internal carotid artery clipped. It had been discovered when I had an MRI of my carotid arteries to see how much damage my 50 years of smoking was doing. Just as they removed the piece of skull to do the clipping, I went into cardiac arrest (no previous heart problems). After 10 minutes with CPR and attaching an external pacemaker, they got me back!! They had not been able to proceed with the clipping, and they had dropped my body temperature to minimize brain swelling, sewed me back up, and I awoke 4 days later to learn of the events. I came away from that with no deficiencies. Had a headache for a few days, but they kept me comfortable with pain meds. They insisted I stay in the hospital for 2 more days (though I felt fine). The worst part of the whole thing was knowing how frightened my friends (who had taken me for the surgery) were during the 4 days I was out. Other than their terrifying experience, the next worst thing was the pain in my chest from the CPR. When I returned home, I was fine (except for the chest if I coughed or laughed), got my staples out in 10 days, and healed up until March 26, 2013, when I went in again for the clipping. We never did really figure out why I tried to take a powder on everyone.
For the second surgery they attached an external pacemake from the start to be on the safe side. The surgery went perfectly and I was back home in three days!! As with the first surgery, I walked away with no deficiencies. and didn't even need the pain meds after the first few days. I was tired, but alowed myself to rest as I needed, and felt back to normal within a couple of weeks. There are 3 other smaller aneurysms on the left that we are following. At this point they haven't grown, so we will continue to follow and I'll go for a clipping if my surgeon recommends it. It's not as scary this time as the first time, but surgery is surgery, and I'd be in God's hands. He did a fine job last time, so I'm not as afraid.

Am I blessed? Yes!! And I pray that you, too, will be so blessed, as well (minus my type of drama)! I hope you are able to combat the fear of the unknown, and we hope to hear from you again soon when you feel up to it, and we will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

Hugs, Vicki (Munchkin's Mom)

I had a craniotomy 2 years ago this coming October. Sure i was scared and stressed but the recovery was pretty painless after the first few days. Keep your head covered with a scarf or a hat to protect from the cold. I went back to driving after a week or so due to some family issues and i was fine. I returned to work after just 3 weeks! My doctor and his nurse said i was their poster child…lol. Wish you all the best for a speedy and full recovery.

Hey there! Much like Dodie, my craniotomy was a cinch compared to the rupture (left carotid) which landed me in ICU for 13 days! The initial rupture was coiled and didn’t hold so six months later, it was clipped. With the clipping I was out of the hospital in three days and working on my laptop from my hospital bed by day two. The staples across the hairline looked way worse than they felt, as did the bruising/black eye and facial swelling. My head/skull remained “numb” for probably a year which was great when it came time to remove the staples (never even felt 'em). The doc did place me on steroids for a short time and while it helped with the inflammation, I ate like a fool, literally couldn’t stop myself!

After the rupture and coiling, i wasn’t in tons of pain when I returned home but the fatigue was overwhelming and remained so for several years post rupture. Because a craniotomy is so much more invasive than the coiling, I fully expected the fatigue to be worse and be accompanied by lots of pain. Though I was sent home with pain and nausea meds, I only needed the pain meds for a few days. Never took the nausea meds after reading that one of the side effects is nausea!! The fatigue would be my chief complaint though as many here have sad, everyone’s journey is different.

You are indeed blessed having avoided a rupture and been given the opportunity to prepare as best you can. I am so glad for you in this regard :slight_smile: I read this somewhere long ago and have found it to be true for me: what you think about, you bring about. Though easier said than done, I try to give thanks in all things and remind myself I can choose to look for the bright spot even in challenging circumstances.

Keep faith that your MDs will take good care of you and take whatever form your recovery takes as it comes. Rest, rest and then rest!!

God bless and keep you strong in every way possible.

Hi Dphalen

I am 58 years old and had a clipping of the anterior communicating aneurysm in February 2012.

The brain surgeon told me prior to the operation that I must be prepared to expect anything from paralysis on one side or my speech could be affected but will receive rehabilitation if that would happen to help me recover.

I woke up in ICU after a six hour long operation with no damage or complications. I was transferred to a surgical ward after three days in ICU. I went back to work after two months. I rest as much as possible the two months after the operation and did not look back ever.

I trust everything will go well for you I put my trust in the Lord an know He was with me all the way.

Before the operation I was very calm and knew our Heavenly Father would not bring something along my life which I cannot handle.

I trust our Heavenly Father will be with you.

Elise Oosthuizen

I had my clipping 2 years ago. Truthfully I still have head pain/aches or pressure. Not sure, but I live with it and it helps that people on this site have it too, since I thought I was the only one and the Dr's really can't give me an answer. My clipping was fine. I felt on the road to recovery , but after a year and a half I find that I have to watch that I don't overdo anything (I work 6 days a week) or else the headaches are more intense. I also have another aneurysm on my left internal carotid artery. I was wondering if they cannot clip that or they have to do the pipeline procedure on these. (not even sure what that is). I find this site so helpful as people don't understand the physical side and just as important the emotional side. I am going to see a therapist to help me sort out things. Good luck to you. Everyone is different as you can read my the answers on this site. God Bless Eileen

Hey Dphalen,

Not much to add to what others have said except drink lots and lots of water, starting in hospital. All of the drugs and anesthesia are very um, how to say, constipating, which can be more painful then the craniotomy. Ha! The chair in the shower was very helpful and more secure than standing. My husband was very protective of me in the first weeks home and kept the visitors and phone calls to a minimum. I think that was helpful to keep me quiet and rested. My jaw was very sore from the craniotomy and a soft diet was a must.

God be with you. Please keep us posted on your progress.

Hugs~Laura