Mom was diagnosed with aneurysm in 2011.Insurance problems

Hi everyone,

It's my first time posting on this forum. My mother was diagnosed with a 4.7 mm aneurysm in the summer of 2011. It was discovered incidentally in the emergency room when she went in for abdominal pain. The ER doctors suggested she go and have a check up at UCLA. She had begun to have headaches right after she found out about the aneurysm but I believe that was just due to the emotional stress and fear. UCLA decided to admit her in the ICU for about one week. They did an angio and were debating whether she was a candidate for coiling or clipping. Furthermore, my mom also suffers from deep vein thrombosis. The doctors decided that she would not be able to undergo the coiling procedure because there were several risks of clotting involved. The surgeons decided to just wait and watch to see if the aneurysm changed. They said if it ever changes then they would think about clipping it but for now it was small and stable.

Anyway, after my mom was released from UCLA she had a 3 month follow up appointment. Thank god nothing had changed. However, because of her insurance (medi-cal) UCLA was not accepting her as a patient. She was transferred to have her yearly check ups by Mehdi Habibi in Glendale, CA. Last year she had her yearly MRA without contrast (she is allergic to the iodine contrast) and everything came back negative. The aneurysm had not changed. However, now this Doctor is suggesting that she get coiling. He referred my mom to another specialist and he is also pestering my mom to get coiling. As a family, we just do not want to jump on this decision so quickly and because she is at risk of clotting. Also, my mom's primary care doctor is recommending that we go straight to UCLA and not listen to these other doctors. I am really frustrated and confused. Medi-Cal will not approve UCLA and keeps sending us to other doctors who each give us a different opinion. I feel like no one is actually taking the time to understand my mom's other health conditions and using that as a factor. I, personally, would be comfortable if my mom could just get monitored at UCLA because the doctors were upfront and honest.

For the past year, we have just been going in circles from one doctor to the other. The insurance company refuses to approve my mom's case for UCLA. I worry for her well being often. It's to the point where her health is always on my mind. I would really love to hear your thoughts. And if there is any way that I can convince the insurance company to approve my mom's case. Please share :)

Im a bit confused. If the aneurysm hasnt changed in the last few years, why are the doctors recommending treatment now? did they give any reason for it, or were they just suggesting it as an option? Also someone here may be able to recommend another doctor near you also.

My opinion with these annies, is I try to weigh up the pros and cons of treatment and ask my surgeon lots of questions. In my mind what it really comes down to is what is the risk of rupture by not treating it right now, versus the risk of any complications by treating it now. I tend to be a bit cautious because I think whenever they go poking around in the brain, it could potentially have negative effects and I totally get why you have concerns with your mom's thrombosis situation, that can be life threatening so it is an added complication to take into consideration. I would definitely want to know why the docs feel it needs treatment after 3 years of being watched with no change.

Hi,

Thanks for your response. That is the exact reason as to why I am confused. The surgeons at UCLA said there is no need to touch the aneurysm if it does not change. But all the other doctors we have been to are telling us to get the coiling procedure right away. My mom's primary doctor is saying the same thing as you, to be really cautious because it is the matter of the brain. The primary doctor suggests that we go through the ER at UCLA and get their opinion. She simply stated that these other doctors are just after a paycheck so just trust UCLA or USC in this matter.

This is a very confusing matter for us. Just praying that we can find a decent surgeon that gives us more options.

Thank you :)

I will take this into consideration!

To me this sentence is key to much of what you said "They said if it ever changes then they would think about clipping it but for now it was small and stable."

it sounds as though that hasnt changed and it is possible the other docs are keen to do it for the money or they may even be keen to gain experience? The advice from ucla seems really sensible and rightly cautious. If it does grow larger then it might warrant treatment, but it sounds as though nothing has changed in urgency. What the other docs said just doesnt really add up given the scan results.

Exactly, the doctors opinions do not add up. This is why I am so confused. I am debating whether UCLA gave us the right opinion or I should listen to the other surgeons. We are currently in the process of fighting with the insurance company to approve my mom's case for UCLA. I believe once I hear the docs opinion at UCLA, we will be able to make a more conscious decision.