Living with medium-sized annie

I see so many posts on the BAF forums from people who have had annies 5mm or less clipped or coiled. Mine is 8mm on the ICA, and the ophthalmic artery originates from it, according to the report from the interventional neuroradiologist who did my angiogram. It cannot be coiled because of that.

When I had the follow-up appointment with my neurosurgeon, he contradicted the report somewhat. He says the annie is ON the ophthalmic artery. Because of the low risk of sub-centimeter annies bursting, and because of the high risk to my vision of clipping, we are monitoring it. I'll have a new CT angiogram in a year.

So here is my question: Why have so many members of this forum had 3-4mm annies coiled or clipped? Location, location, location? What factors tipped the decision in favor of having something done to the annie? Thanks.

I also have a 3mm carotid ophthalmic right side (and a 2,5mm at the junction A1 &A2 right) 2 annies.

(terms translated from french)

I'm curious if anyone have had a successful clipping or a coiling for an ophthalmic annie? My doctor was not encouraging anything for now and told me the risk is very high (for me) for this. He did not want to mention how much high !

I have read that lack of copper in the diet was found in aneurysms. Careful because too much copper can bring high blood pressure.

Good luck to all.

I have a 2-3mm wide neck (no coiling) of ophthalmic seg. of the left car. art. and

2mm cavernous seg. left car. art. and

2 mm ophalmic seg. of the right car. art. and my mom died from her annie, my grandmother had multiple stroke they tell me at Yale Med. to WAIT...So size is not the only factor, location, inherated, are all factors and your health is also a factor. I am looking for another opinion. Maybe you should also.


There are so many different opinions about when to treat. Risk factors, especially smoking, family history and location make a big difference.

I can’t answer for those who’ve chosen to have 3-4mm annies treated… I have three unruptured annies 5mm, 2mm and 2mm that I’ve opted not to treat for more than 35 years. My risk factors, outside of knowing that I have them plus my past rupture are small. I had an ~11mm annie rupture almost 43 years ago which was clipped successfully and very minimal side effects.

Please consider getting additional opinions to help guide you in your decision.

May God bless you with competent and caring physicians.


Hi There,

Reading the research and having had a pipeline stent fitted in January for an 8mm aneurysm in the right carotid artery and seeing no less than 3 neurosurgeons before taking the plunge, the specialist view in the UK was that any aneurysm over 5mm can bleed out. The question is when. I found myself waking up every day wondering if if would happen that day. I could not live like that so I opted for the least risky option of stenting.

The ophthalmic nerve is attached to the carotid artery. I have no idea why people who have under 5mm annies get them coiled or clipped possibly age? Age is a factor that is taken into account ie. a persons natural lifespan etc. Neurosurgeons take age into account when deciding whether to offer treatment or not. I was told that annies increase in size by less than 1% per year. I hope this is helpful.

Jennifer x

Hi Jennifer,

I don’t think anyone really knows how much Annie’s grow or what will cause one to rupture at any given time. My new surgeon didn’t express any greater urgency to operate on me than my former surgeon ( the one who saved my life) did when he discovered the additional unruptured Annie’s 35 years ago.


I always wonder why I read about so many researches done for Alzheimer or other diseases and never for aneurysm. The only research I read about aneurysm is about the percentage of ruptures on follow up aneurysms and never on how it is there what can be the causes other than the ones we know.

this is the last one in the english journal of medicine

All this does not mean anything, only numbers !

Hi Carole,

Maybe the responsibility is with you. I am a firm believer in instinct. You know how you feel and your own body. Do you feel it should be treated? I did not feel well with mine , though my symptoms, if they could be classified as symptoms was that I found that I could not cope with stress very well. I felt like I would have a stroke if I did not calm down. My stress levels were getting lower as time went on. I instinctively knew something was wrong. Things are better now after the op. Get a second opinion if you are worried. Get them to put in writing exactly what the risk factors are with treatment. Ask them what alternative treatments there are ie. pipeline stents .etc. I take it that they are monitoring you should be able to calculate from your first scan just how fast your annie has grown or if indeed you had it 35 years ago. Carole its your life and your responsibility. What do you instinctively feel?

Jennifer X

Hi Jennifer,

I’m very comfortable with the decisions that I’ve made about my treatment. I give thanks to God for the successful clipping and recovery that I had and for all the years that I’ve had without another rupture. I am knowledgable of the options and the risks. And, I can honestly say this is not something that I obsess about.

What will happen tomorrow, only the Lord knows and I am comfortable in his hands.

Take care.

My aneurysm was 8mm and was on my left ophthalmic artery. They did a cerebral angiogram and determined it could not be coiled. Only choice was clipping and I was told up fron the biggest risk was loss of vision in left eye. I had the surgery on April 2nd. I returned to work three weeks ago. My neuro-surgeon said on my last scan that the artery looks better now then it did immediately post-op. My neuro-ophthalmologist said she is shocked I have any vision at all in my left I. I have three clips - two behind my left eye and one on my carotid. Feel totally blessed. All anyone can say is how lucky I am. I'm not sure where you live but my hero, I mean neuro-surgeon, is Dr. Sander Connolly at NY Presbyterian / Columbia. Great neurological group there.

Thanks for sharing your story Carol. I live in CT. and my first neuro dr. was Yale now I am waiting on a second opinion from Hartford neuro.

Keep "interviewing" doctors until you find one you would trust with your life :)

Thank you Carol. I'm very happy for you. I live in Paris. I'm sure I will find a good doctor here when I will need it.

Here they give completely different number regarding the risk per year. They gave me 0,05% risk, while in the states they gave me 1% risk per year.

You had 3 annies that's why you have those three clips? Now it is over and you can finally relax! It's good to know that can happen too one day.

Take care.

It sometimes can be confusing when you are having different doctors telling you different things. We have to be our own advocate. The annie on my left ophthalmic artery needed two clips since it was pretty big but the size was such that it coudn't be coiled - kind of sideways. The other clip is on the carotid on the left side of my neck. That is to regulate the blood flow. I sometimes picture them coming "undone" and ricocheting all over my head :) I joke about it and try not to stress but it is frightening and something we will live with for the rest of our lives. People look at me strange when I sneeze and have to hold the top of my head because it feels as if it is going to blow off. Someone who doesn't live with this will never understand.

Hi Carol,
Try not to worry about the clips coming “undone”. My clips are just 6 weeks shy of being 43 years old and they are going strong. :-). I just have to make sure never to have an MRI or MRA which would pull them out. :frowning:

Fortunately, this is not an issue with the clips used today.

I’ve been told that we can’t dislodge the clips by sneezing. You can, however, harm yourself by holding in a sneeze so do try to avoid this,

Take care.


Don't worry Carol, I'm sure you are ok. I personally have never heard about the clip coming out.

Carole G. could you describe where are the 4 annies you have located. The one clipped and the other three. I'm always happy to hear about your story, it gives me hope.

Also what is your diet like? (do you eat meat, vegetables, fruits, which ones?) Do you take vitamins ? (Vitamin C, D ....?) Do you avoid carrying a certain weight ?

Thank you


Carole you and your posts / replies are always such a comfort to me. 43 years! the knowledge you share is valuable and helps me so much. I'm a virgin with annies so keep it coming LOL

Thanks Laura I'm sure, just totally new feelings and I'm learning new things every day, which is great.

Hi Laura,

The annie that ruptured was in the right posterior communicator artery and was ~11mm. The unruptured annie’s are on the left, a 5mm ICA plus a 2mm posterior and a 2mm anterior communicator aneurysm.

I try to follow the Weight Watchers diet and I’ve done this for the last 33 years, although I’ve gone off the diet several times. :frowning: I try to maintain a healthy weight and but I do have to work at it. I need to lose 13 pounds to get back to goal.

I eat pretty much everything, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, rice, pasta, potatoes and chocolate. I drink a glass of wine with dinner several times a week I love to experiment with new recipes and I eat a wide variety of cuisines. I take a multivitamin each day. I also try to have at least one apple a day. I love trying new restaurants. However, I seldom eat fried foods, fast food, foods prepared from packaged mixes or so-called diet foods. In addition, I’ve never been a smoker and I’ve had limited exposure to second hand smoke. I am a “recovering” couch-potato. :slight_smile:

I attribute my good fortune to God’s grace. Please let me know if you have more questions.

Take care.


Thank you Carole for all this description, I became very healthy too since I know about it.

What is the vitamin brand you take ?

I'll add an apple too from now on :-)

Take care