My mothers 4.5 mm aneurysm

Good Morning and apologies in advance for the lengthy story.

My mother was diagnosed with an unruptured brain aneurysm in Jan 2012. It was only discovered because she had a really bad headache the previous November and we encouraged her to see a doctor. She has often had bad headaches for as long as I can remember, but she had not had such a severe one in some time - so she agreed.

She had all sorts of scans in December and January 2012 that came back negative and finally the last scan showed an aneurysm located on the anterior communicating artery. It was anticipated to be between 5 and 6 mm. The surgeon does not believe her headache was caused by leakage, as she had no additional symptoms other than the headache itself - no neck pain or neurological deficits.

Since that time, she has had an angiogram which noted that the neck of the aneurysm is too wide for coiling and therefore she has been recommended for a clipping procedure. However, it was also noted that the aneurysm is smaller than anticipated - a little over 4 mm. We are in the process of trying to get a second opinion given the risks related to the clipping procedure but there are few vascular neurosurgeons participating in her insurance plan.

Obviously, we are grateful that this was caught prior to rupture, and that my mother is in relative good health otherwise. She is 63 and has never smoked nor drank. She has been put on blood pressure medication recently, but aside from that, no major medical issues.

Certain family members are quite concerned and somewhat opposed to my mother having the clipping procedure and prefer she monitor the aneurysm over time. However, my mother is rather adamant about having it treated as she does not like having a "ticking time bomb" hanging over her.

I want to do what is best for her, but I am concerned about the the risks of the clipping procedure as well. I will support her no matter what happens but would love to get some feedback and learn from others experiences as well.

HI Autumn...

I am glad you were able to figure out how to put your story on the main board...

Truthfully, I don't think anyone can make the decision for your mom...but mom...she must decide what is best for the time mine was found, It was leaking, had the bad headache and collapsed...I wasn't really given much choice, but then again they were able to coil which sounded less invasive...but as you read here...we have many, many, many survivors of coils and/or clipping...who live full lives...and the best part is your mom has good health on her side...that being said...I think it is good you are getting a 2nd opinion...and weigh all the options, and remain supportive of mom no matter what she decides...

You have my prayers...Colleen ~

I agree with Colleen. Mom is the only one that can make the decision to have her ani treated. I have both - one coiled and 2 clipped. My clipping was 3 months ago and I don't seem to have any residual effects. My Dr. appt. went well and I don't have to go back for a year. There are risks with any surgery but as long as everyones attitude is positive and upbeat and your mother has a little help after surgery she will be fine. I wish your mom and your family good luck and a future of good health.

Hi Autumn,

I had a 6,25mm aneurysm clipped November 2010. The risks with clipping are a whole lot less then the risks if the aneurysm bursts in my opinion. My experience is not one of the norm but I will tell you this, if there is a surgeon that says she should have it taken care of then I would.

My prayers for your mom & the rest of your family...


Autumn, welcome, I think it is wonderful you all are there to support your mother's decision; and that she does have you all to talk over her concerns, issues, feelings.

My aneurysm was diagnosed @ 6mm after rupture(s) and, others here have had ruptures; some smaller.

Being diagnosed before rupture is really grand, in having the opportunity to listen, ask questions/options, research more, ask more...then make the decision that has the right comfort level.

I was coiled, and I am not a promoter of coiling for various reasons. Typically when coils replace the blood in an aneurysm, the size does not reduce, and, whatever symptoms exist, likely will not disappear. Coils also take a lot more f/ups; too often (my personal opinion) more coils are added. When surgery/clip is done, the aneurysms are generally reduced in size, gone. They still need f/up but not near the volume of coiling.

It is unfortunate that insurance policies so limit the facilities/clinics not allowing premium payers' ability to make their own selections.

Wishing you the best comfort in supporting your mother's decision; prayers for success in the decision.


Thanks all for the kind messages. My mother and her doctor have decided to proceed with the clipping procedure and she is scheduled for the end of April. We will just stay very positive and hope for the very best. I will keep you all posted on her progress. Thanks for the good wishes!

I will continue to keep your mother and you in my prayers ... keep us posted on mom's upcoming clipping...

Gotcha in my prayers...~ Colleen


Prayers for you, your mother, family, for her decision.

Please remember Carole here..,who had surgery 42 years ago; and Kim J and Theresa who was on Kim's program recently...who had surgery in the mid-1990s. And, Elke, recently and another gentleman (name still slips) who had coils and had to go back for clips. Suggsts there are more than these few known ones. Some research covers that coil may begin, and, is stopped and changed to surgery; no stats available on quantity.

Hugs and prayers for the right decision and its success,


Hi Autumn,
I am so glad your Mom is going ahead with the clipping…I had a 5mm unruptured ICA on ophthalmic segment and was scared silly about the clipping. Now, 4 weeks post op I am doing great. The only effects are fatigue, but I am taking daily short walks to build up my stamina. Also, my incision is very itchy and once in a while my left temple area hurts. I am not on any pain meds at all. By the way, I turned 67 yesterday – the best birthday ever, and I no longer have to worry about the ticking time bomb.
Your Mom will be fine. The smaller the size, the easier for the surgeon and the better the results. Please give her my best. I will pray for her.
Millie grace

Thank you Millie - I really appreciate you sharing your experience. I am SO glad to hear you are doing well and wish you nothing but the best on your continued recovery.

Thank you all for the kind wishes.


Hi All,

I hope everyone is doing well.

I just wanted to give an update on my mom's surgery. My mom heard some negative comments about her surgeon from various sources, including another neurosurgeon and an anesthesiology nurse. This obviously concerned us all so we strongly encouraged my mom to go see another doctor and get another opinion. She had received several recommendations for one doctor in particular - but he did not participate in her insurance plan so she had not pursued him. However, after this new information, we contacted the doctor and they were willing to negotiate fees with the insurance company and she was able to see him. This doctor was wonderful and both my parents really like him and feel more comfortable with him than the previous surgeon. She has now rescheduled her clipping surgery with the new surgeon for early May. I will keep you guys updated as we get closer.

Thanks again for all the support!

Hi Autumn,

I am now 8 weeks post and surprised at how well I feel. My tight jaw is now almost normal and I can bite into a burger without pain. My incision is almost completely healed. I feel occasional discomfort at my temple. The temporal muscle had to be cut during surgery and
Has atrophied so I am left with an indent at my left temple, but my hair covers it and no one notices except me. Other than that, my energy is getting back to normal and I have been able to go shopping and do so many of my normal activities. It is just so amazing.
I am glad your Mom found a surgeon she feels comfortable with, and I know she will do well.
Continued best wishes.
Millie Grace

Hi all -

One more final update before I travel tomorrow for my mom's clipping. Her procedure will be Wednesday morning at around 7am and the doctor says he expected the surgery to take 3-4 hours. I'm quite nervous now I know it's actually happening, but am maintaining a completely positive and humorous attitude for my mom as I can't imagine how she is feeling right now.

I will let you all know how it goes and will keep you posted on her recovery. Finding this forum has been truly a blessing as it's wonderful to know how many amazing and strong people there are who have gone through this too.

I hope everyone is well and just wanted to say thank you for your support these past few months.


Thank you for your update; many prayers for you all, for the success of your mother's surgery...


Autumn you and mom and the family have my prayers...~ please let us know when you get a chance how she is doing ~ Gotcha in my prayers ~ Colleen

I was 20 when I had a rupture in my left temple lobe.
I’m now 56. I remember what I went through as if it were yesterday. The headaches
one may have sometimes cannot be described. I had about 26 metal clips placed. All I wish to advise is
stand by her on her choice. Take care.

Hi All,

Sorry it's been a few days, but it hasn't been a very good few days. Mom's surgeon said the surgery went fine and we were able to see her a few hours into her recovery. She was lethargic and in pain but somewhat responsive and seemed to understand what we said to her. We went home that evening hoping she would be alert and a bit more coherent the next day.

Well, unfortunately, overnight they realized she was having mini-seizures and she has been heavily sedated since and has not been awake at all. I am feeling so incredibly overwhelmed and am so scared we are going to lose her.

We have seen her and they have her on several anti-seizure medicines and are giving her supplemental oxygen to keep her saturation levels up. They don't seem to be acting as though it's dire, but they are doctors and nurses and act very professional. I just can't handle the fact that we brought her in with no issues on Wednesday and now on Friday she is having seizures and completely sedated. This doesn't seem normal to me and I am fearful that this surgery was the wrong decision. I will keep you guys posted along the way - I really appreciate all the support that we've received from this message board and hope I will have some better news in a few days.

Praying for your Mom. God bless all of you.

Prayers for your Mom's recovery

So many prayers for your mom and family!!!