My new aneurysm

I was just diagnosed with a 3 mm aneurysm in the cavernous portion of the left internal carotid artery. I got an MRA only because I was having headaches related to something else. It was found incidentally! Funny thing is, I am a research coordinator for stroke and aneurysm studies. I NEVER thought I'd have my very own aneurysm. I guess that's why I was lucky enough to get this job a year ago. Destined to find my aneurysm. The neurosurgeon I work for said it's nothing to worry about (easy for him to say!) and to get another MRA next year. I'm baffled by the whole thing. According to the internet, I only have a 1-2% chance of it rupturing. We do lots of coiling and Pipeline for aneurysms and have the best doctors ever. Let me know what you think!

OMG, If this doesn't place you firmly in the running for the 'Employee Of The Year' award, I don't know what will!

Seriously tho, mad coincidence or not, this has got to be a bit stessful to find out ....and the headaches are unrelated? What is it that is causing the headaches, did they find out? (sigh), you're in the right place, both at work and on this website...Peace to you in your journey, and stop being such a show off employee ! Lol


I’ll tell them to make me employee of the year! Ha. My headaches are during extreme stress and unrelated according to my headache doctor and neurologist. No other symptoms. I guess I’ll pretend I don’t have it till next year. How are you?

Harold, nice to meet you! Life is a crazy thing and we were destined to cross paths. I just never expected it would be this way! Good luck.

I think if the Doctors and their families had to experience the Journey of an aneurysm...they would see things so differently...we are strong and we are Survivor's...but not all of us are "textbook"...and things to happen...

I "pay it forward" here to help support others...but this is because of the care and support I received from the Hospital NICU and my Husband...

I think our support site...may start to change things and our aneurysm's found on a more timely manner...?

Did I tell you...when I went to ER with bad bad headache...I was told from a Women Doctor...oh you are a women and anxious and more then likely starting menopause...Oh my God...that is how my journey started...

That being said...2 years after being coiled...I live everyday and every moment as my last...and I do allow this annie to control my life...~

So glad you are here and wanted to listen...~ Wishing you a beautiful weekend...~ Colleen

I would’ve reported that doctor so she could understand the impact she has on patients! I could imagine that coming out of a male doctor more than a female. I’m so glad you are doing well. How big was your aneurysm? …Robyn

Hi Robyn...I did the report...because I didn't want anyone to experience what my husband and I had experienced...but on that note, a male Doctor turned around and said..."no way to her...I want Colleen to have MRA..." it was my 2nd collapse in less then 10 days...he I wrote and Thanked for all he did for me...I had a 9mm leaky aneurysm on my basilar artery tip...and a 2 mm aneurysm behind my left eye...

The coiling has compacted and because they accidentally cut my parent vessel ... no coils can be added at this time...I suffer now from migraines since the coiling, but luckily they come about twice a month...I have damage to the 3rd cranial nerve and a slight palsy and weakness on right side of body...but when I see so many here who have had so much happen, mine is nothing...I exercise, walk everyday, eat healthy and try not to I try to live the right is sometimes the "bad days" can be bad...but I am learning to embrace them too...

~ Colleen

I’m glad they caught them in time but I’m so sorry about your migraines. I had them for years until menopause. Good for that male doctor!! You will be an inspiration to me to eat healthier and exercise.

WELCOME…how ODD that almost ALL of us have the headaches…not related??? I think VERY related!!! I have had 8 procedures on my Annie…2 strokes…coiled and 2 stints ( first one failed!!! ) I am now medically retired as I suffer short term memory loss and have lost perriferal vision so I do not drive…am STILL suffering headaches that disable me !!! Will celebrate my 3rd BIRTHDAY June 3,2013!!! I am just thankful to STILL BE HERE BY GODS AMAZING GRACE!!! I have a saying: IF GOD BRINGS YOU TO IT…HE WILL BRING YOU THROUGH IT!!! …:slight_smile: No matter what…:slight_smile: again Welcome…AWESOME !!! Amazing people here!!!

Congrats on fighting this ugly thing. You are doing an awesome job! Happy almost birthday!

Hello and welcome! I am in a similar boat as you. I had a migraine for days and had MRI/MRA. They found a 3mm aneurysm and a smaller one. Neurosurgeon thought I had something else going on too due to other symptoms so he did an angiogram. He said only 1 annie and not to worry. I went for 2nd opinion and head of OHSU brain center said I have 3 annies and not to worry. I went for annual check after that and was told I have 2 annies and not to worry. All have said they're quite common. I've almost completely forgotten about them until someone reminds me, and I don't even have to get checked for 3 years. I know they can rupture if small, but the chance of that is less than getting hit by a car on my way to work. So, we learn to live with it. Mine are all on the right and left MCA. I wish you well and hope yours never causes you any trouble.

hi there! wow aren't you the over achiever!!!! Just wanted to say Hi and welcome you-glad your here as its helped me tons since my sah, Keeping you in thoughts and prayers -take care!

Thanks! My doctors say don’t worry abou mine, ever. Ha!


I had a cavernous sinus carotid aneurysm, but mine was 3 cm and causing pressure symptoms. My understanding is that at 3 mm rupture is very rare and if a cavernous carotid aneurysm ruptures it ruptures into the cavernous sinus rather than causing a SAH around the brain. If it ruptures into the cavernous sinus it presents with erythema and swelling of the eye. In that situation I think they ligate the carotid artery. Mine was so large it was eroding the dura making SAH (and therefore death) more likely if it ruptured.

I worked in a medical field too, but in a different specialty, so I also looked up the literature. Cavernous sinus aneurysms have much less risk than aneurysms elsewhere and are under the dura so outside the subarachnoid space. I think I'd have gone for 'watch and wait' if mine hadn't been so big it was causing double vision due to 3rd and 6th nerve problems and didn't have the risk of SAH or sphenoid sinus rupture. I suspect your surgeons advice is good.

I had no pain from my aneurysm until it was coiled and the carotid occluded. Now I get pain on bending, migraine like pain and trigeminal nerve pain. I've also had cognitive problems since the endovascular procedure which have stopped me getting back to work. We suspect some hypoxic or microvascular /microembolic damage which started at the time of the balloon test occlusion procedure and worsened after occlusion and coiling.

As I had marked symptoms pre-op and had become unable to work intervention has definitely helped me, but if you are asyptomatic now and the rupture risk is small and not very life threatening I'd be concerned you might be worse off after any procedure. The surgeons and radiologists seem to tell everyone there are no long term effects after stents/coils for unruptured aneurysms, but it is actually clear from the published literature and from others on here that cognitive problems are relatively common. It's not been very well studied, but there is literature evidence (mainly from Spain) that having to change occupation or failing to return to work is fairly common.


Thanks for all of the info! I’m sorry you are having problems. You made the right decision though to have it treated due to its size. I have more research to do on mine. Your info will definitely be useful. I’m already having memory problems due to ageing and don’t need more! My bosses are endovascular neurosurgeons so they know best. They are miracle workers. Good luck!!