IR embolism

So, I had a conversation with my neurosurgeon after having a variety of strange things happened to me. He wasn’t necessarily convinced that they all wrapped into my aneurysms but then again do doctors know things 100%? Of course not. However, my aneurysm has grown. Because I have that strange Periocolossal aneurysm at first they said it was too risky. So, I called them back and I said what do you mean by too risky? I then of course got the rundown of things that one can do to get rid of the aneurysm. It has grown from a 2.5 to a 3.5 in a year. They said usually around four they start thinking about doing something but he’going to go in and look at it anyway. 4 to 5 years ago I had an MRA which I thought was the same thing as an IR embolism procedure but apparently it is not. At this point they’re going to inject dye into my brain. They said it’s different than an MRA. Has anyone ever had one of these before? They Sherwin over an awful lot of instructions. It’s talking about pressure and bleeding. I had to have an EKG and blood work.
Apparently it’s more intense than an MRA. It sounds like and I are really tries to get them close enough to maybe cut off the blood supply. I’m not sure if that’s what he is doing or not. But all I know is he’s getting pretty close to at this time. He wants to know the exact shape, size and location to know what it is to do.
I’m a little nervous. Has anybody had this procedure done?

I had to look that one up! Embolization I’m no medical expert, but it sounds to me as if the procedure is similar to an angiogram aka arteriogram, a non invasive method of trying to fix the blasted thing. With each angiogram I’ve had, contrast dye has been used for Dr. Q-W to better see my arteries thus my aneurysm. Maybe the angiogram is how they see it and the IR embolization is how they fix it and that would tell me the answer for the question on the differences between what the two are! Another thing to add to my list of questions for Dr. Quintero-Wolfe, thank you so much! You could ask your doctor that and would know before I can see Dr. Quintero-Wolfe next year I think it is…

If you’re talking about a catheter angiogram, then the intent is to insert a very fine tube at your groin or at your wrist and navigate it up to where your aneurysm is and inject the contrast material locally to the aneurysm. This allows a more careful assessment of the “landscape” than a more general illumination of your arteries. My assumption (and it is an assumption) is that MRA injection of contrast isn’t done locally to the site of interest, so illuminates all of your vessels, whereas a catheter angiogram is targeted.

It is undertaken as a procedure and it does carry some risks – principally that you could have an accidental bleed or an accidental blockage.

With my angiograms, Dr. Quintero-Wolfe looks at all my arteries in both hemispheres each time even when the purpose is to fix the aneurysm. She is looking for any aneurysms that may not have showed up on the MRI/As. I liken to to being inside a house, rather than outside a house looking in…yes I know I’m weird….

My paperwork says IR embolization vascular

It may well mean interventional radiology embolisation which is basically what I had done. Very much the same as the angiogram I described but with the injection of glue or coils or other embolic agents to block up an AVM or an aneurysm sac and reduce the rupture risk.

When I looked it up that’s what I got as well. Does it it’s trying to pretty much wall off the blood flow. I guess that would be a easier direction than the coiling or maybe the squealing I don’t know. I have kind of a rare aneurysm but the first time they did it they did the angiogram and I saw the paperwork on that. But this one’s called an embolism vascular. Which sounds like it’s actually trying to do some thing while they are in there.
Bloobo the Anuersym brought this on

Ophhh so that is the coiling procedure that they often speak about. I was going to have it done on Thursday and then go back to work on Monday is that reasonable?

I don’t know how much the embolisation will affect you when used to fill an aneurysm. In my case, I had an artery connected directly to a vein (no intervening capillary) and blood squirting the wrong way round the circuit, so switching that erroneous flow off immediately made my head feel very weird. Your brain smarts from the glue / solvent as well. I had three weeks off work for my re-plumbing work. I could have coped with two if I really needed to.

They do say that you should only need a few days, so it may be a good enough plan. Honestly, I’d think a week off minimum but other aneurysm patients may be able to tell you better than me.

Having been coiled four times with a couple other things - balloon assist and then a stent, I would say it depends on which artery they use to get to your brain, the femoral (groin) artery took me longer than the radial (wrist) artery. There are weight limits and other rules to follow depending on the artery used and for how long, There are considerations to take with the anesthesia and contrast dye as either or both can have their own effects. If you can swing it, a week would be nice, two might be more reasonable. It all depends on how you react after the procedure.

You need to ask if the plan is to just look or is it a repair. I’ve usually had one that Dr. Quintero-Wolfe looks at my aneurysm, then another to repair, then six months down the road another to look and see how the repair went.

Hi Abby, I think you should ask more questions. Detailed and don’t be shy. Even if they sound stupid. I asked the neurology intern why it’s dangerous if the brain bleeds. He explained. Ask about your options. Talk to the NP too. They often know a lot. Some people are better at explaining than others. If the stress keeps you from understanding bring an intelligent friend who is more emotionally removed.

Good luck!


Sorry you are going through something so frightening. What you are describing sounds very much like the cerebral angiogram I had after my aneurysm ruptured (and the veins were reconnected with coils). The dye and being drugged but partially awake (though quite medicated) were unpleasant, but the imagery was very important. I had another one to make sure that all was holding up prior from my release from the neuro ICU. I was so happy to have beat the odds and survived the rupture with no long-term effects that I actually got one of the images they gathered enlarged and placed on canvas - it is now art in my living room.


Abby, I agree with Jasmine, ask the NP, I have a great relationship with mine because she dummies things down for me so that I understand on my terms…My surgeon is too smart and talks like Sheldon from Big Bang Theory lol. Write down all your questions & concerns and set a meeting with the NP
Best of luck - we are all here for support

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I had two brain aneursyms (one behind each eye) and my neuro-intervention doctor, went up through my groin artery, and filled each aneursym with platinum so that they would not burst and bleed. I had three operations like this. It has been 12 years since this happened and I am fine.

Wishing you the best of care and recovery! Keep us updated!


Congrats to you, Audrey! Glad to hear that you are still doing well 12 years later. I had my BA on 1/30/22, so I am still learning. Glad this site exists!


I wanted you to know that you can do this! Just ask lots of questions, keep notes, especially doctor’s notes, mri’s, x-rays and stick to your gut instincts! Be well!