New at this, any advice?

Hi, I just found out last night that I have a 7mm aneurysm very near my right, optic nerve. I was told that I should opt for the more invasive surgery to ensure that I don't loose my eyesight in that eye. I am getting a second opinion this Tues. from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, but I'm assuming I'll hear the same. I am trying my best to stay upbeat and positive but I'm freaking the heck out. I'm wondering if I should just let myself feel the scary thoughts as it may be the natural stages of how one copes with something like this. It's just so hard not to project into the future. Any words of wisdom?

Hi, Kelly, sorry you are having to join the club. My annie was repaired in October via coiling/stent, but there are many of this forum that have annies close to the eyes that can give you info about their annie. Due to my location on the basilar tip, I could not have clipping.

You are very fortunate to have found it before a rupture (I was too). Let us know what Johns Hopkins says. If you also want doctor references if anyone is from that area, you can go to members and search for ones in the city and state - that is what I did early on.

Good luck - the wait is usually the hardest.


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Again Kelly Welcome...!

I am so happy to see you are getting a 2nd opinion...and John Hopkins in Baltimore is so well~known...

I think being scared is part of the long as it isn't the only...I remember feeling denial and then scared...and then I acted like nothing was happening .... like all was alright ... you see... upside down emotions...

I found the more knowledge I obtained on this subject the better I felt ... but that is just me...I am better knowing then not knowing...Try and take sometime out for is important...!

Cyber~hugs Colleen

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I agree with you, Colleen. The more I knew and the more people I spoke to here, the better I felt. I was still scared, but felt that I would be fine.

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Thanks Sherri,

I'm so glad I found this site! Thanks so much for responding. I already feel such support! Yes, the wait is the hardest. My mind just loves to go to worst case scenarios and it's really starting to get to me. But then I guess the worst case would really be them not finding it before it burst! I need to get to that place of gratefulness, this I know! On a happier note, to help lighten my mind, I listened to a great CD on the way home from the eye Dr. ~The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer. Gosh, he's amazing. This really helped turn my mood around this evening, but its a constant battle. I am in awe of all of you who have made it through!! Thanks again!!


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Thanks for your response Colleen! I feel a sense of relief since I found this site! My latest emotion is "there is nothing I can do about this but go through it", but its not the kindest thing to say to myself I guess. Yes, I need to know as much as possible, but it still scares the living heck out of me!! I'm just trying to enjoy the day to day before the operation.

On another note, how long is recovery for the clipping, do you know? And do you know much about the risks of stroke? My doctor really scared me so I thought it would be good to hear more from someone else.

thanks! Kelly


Thanks for taking the time to write! It sounds like you have become very self aware through this journey. It's great that you figured out that you hadn't grieved properly and I hope you have since found a way to process it!

Okay, I have some questions if you don't mind...

1. How did you deal with them shaving part of your head? Was that the least of your concerns?

2. Did your incision heal properly, meaning, was your head the same shape afterwards? My first doctor mentioned that the side of my face may not to equal to the other side of my face after the surgery!! Scary. (I feel like he told me too much). I'm also guessing that I'm worrying about the wrong things and that I should just be grateful that they can do something about this, right??

I guess that's all for now. Thanks for letting me ask!! I'm sure you can tell I'm in such the early stages of all this and that fear is my prevailing thought pattern!!

Sincerely Kelly

Hi Kelly and welcome to BAF.

I too was diagnosed with a 7.2mm aneurysm about 3 weeks ago iv seen 2 neurosurgeons and they have recommended the coiling procedure for me… I’m now waiting for a appointment with the guy who will be doing the operation that is on the 6th march then they say it will be about a week after that when I have it done…I was scared at first and still am don’t get me wrong but with the help of the members here I just get on with every day things and live as I did before I found out…the first few days was the worst now I’m just waiting for the time to come.

When you go to see the doc make sure you take your questions with you and someone else…my head was all over the place if my wife had not been with me I would have forgot everything he said …he also said to stop smoking and I’m on my 5th day without a smoke and to lose a little weight which I’m doing to…the main thing is that they found it that’s what everyone told me here and I am so glad they did .

Thanks jimmy

Kelly, welcome

You are blessed to have JH for your second opinion; was the basic coil or the Pipeline discussed with you?

Wishes and prayers for excellent diagnosis and recommendation.


Hi Kelly and welcome to BAF.

I had the PED back on June 8, 2011. My sister, who is also a member here, had her annie clipped at John Hopkins two years ago. The doctors there are wonderful and I hope you find the answers you are looking for.

Just wanted to let you know that everything you are feeling is completely normal. We have all been there!

The feeling of wondering what is going to happen sometime down the road is the most scary feeling I have ever felt in my life. Just know that you are so lucky that your annie was found before rupture. My two annies were both n the ICA right at the ophthalmic artery. The 9mm that I had the PED surgery on, could not be clipped due to it close proximity to the optic nerve. The surgeon said the chance of blinding me with a clipping was just too high. He did attempt a coiling, but that failed due to the wide mouth of my annie. Lucky for me the PED was just FDA approved, just about a month prior to my annies being found. I now have two PEDs telescoped in the right ICA and my 6 month angio results said that the annie fully occluded and is gone! The PED did what it was supposed to do.

You are going to one of the best hospitals in the area and I hope that you get the answers you need in order to have your surgery and put this part of your journey behind you.

Please know that everyone here at BAF will be thinking of you and praying for a successful surgery, whatever you and your doctors decide is best.

You are in my thoughts and prayers and please keep us posted.


Welcome to the BAF Kelly,

Words of wisdom, think positive at all times but allow yourself to be a little scared, it's only natural!!!

Keep us up to date after your second opinion. Thoughts & prayers!!


Hi Kelly, sorry to hear of your new problem. I had an 8mm aneurysm on my left ICA (it was actually compressisng the optic nerve of my left eye) clipped on April 20, 2011. For that surgery very little of my hair was shaved and the incision area looked clean and face was not misshapened. I did however suffer some fields of vision loss in that eye. The recovery period was estimated to take 4 to 6 weeks. Unfortunately I was one of a very few who contracted an infection ( diagnosed at week 5 of recovery) at the incision site so it's been a long journey. My last operation was 4 weeks ago and they shaved my head entirely -- it's so easy to take care of!! I just wear some cute hats and scarfs til it's longer.

I also went from dying my hair blonde to letting it go naturally silver grey--- Hair grows back --it's the least of matters that you should be concerned about. My best advice to you is to keep positive thoughts .. they help you get through the waiting and the post op recovery. You'll also needs to take time to rest, rest, rest after the surgery. My prayers are being sent your way for an excellent clipping.

I know its hard i didnt have a chance to think what i would like or be scared until mine ruptured keep happy thoughts and let the surgeons decide what to do, nobody can project the future and remember most things are fixable.

I had an unruptured 6mm at the Circle of Willis clipped. Bottom of the back of my head in english! It’s not so much the size as the way the aneurysm is formed. Coiling doesn’t work with ones with wide necks because the coils can come out. I was in the hospital 3 days and only out of work 3 weeks. I’m probaly unusual. Actually I’m sure I’m unusual. At any rate 3 1/2 years later I’m still chugging along. Looks like you have a beautiful baby that needs you. You’ll be fine.

Thanks for all your thoughts Jimmy! (I didn't see that you had written until just now, sorry for the delay). I too have been trying to just go about my day in the usual way and it's really helped. I just want to feel as normal as possible. And it's not like my kids are just suddenly not needing their Mommy, so they force me to stay focused on what's most important as well. Like you, I'm finally past the sheer fear factor, and am getting to the more acceptance phase of all of this. I mean, its not like I have a choice to not go through this. I know you can relate. I'm glad you are getting some pretty cool benefits out of this... hopefully you can stop smoking for good. I can only imagine how difficult that must be for you though. I'm sure it has always been a great stress reliever for you in the past. I was drinking wine every night until 8 days ago, so I have a little inkling of what you're feeling. I actually don't miss it now though. My perspective has totally changed and now I wonder why I was relying on wine so much. Now if my husband has a beer or wine, I can really smell it on him! So a little wake up call for me too. I'm also looking at the world in such a different way now. I am appreciating everything and everybody so much more. I guess it's a bit premature to all of this before my operation, but somehow its just happening very naturally. My appointment with the second dr. is tomorrow! Scary that its finally here! I'll update everyone tomorrow. I didn't mean to write a novel here, but I guess everyone in this boat needs to process all of this! Feel free to write back. I wish you nothing but happy, healing thoughts come March 6th, but keep me posted on how you're doing until them too!! I'm finding it extremely theraputic to talk to people in the same situation, as I'm guessing you are too! We are not alone in all of this craziness!!

Sincerely, Kelly

Hi Pat,

I will definitely ask, but I'm thinking the location of mine (above right optic nerve) will not make me the best candidate. Thanks for your input!! I will have news tomorrow afternoon from JH. Scary, but glad it's finally here!

How was your annie treated?

Thanks Kelly



I hade a 4 mm aneurysm on my optic artery clipped in Sept 2009. My eyesight is intact and I no longer have an aneurysm. Find a great neurosurgeon and you will be fine!


Great to hear Wendy! I think I just found a perfect neurosurgeon too. I'm trying to stay positive... constant battle. How was the operation itself? Were you freaking out right before? How did you stay calm?

thanks Kelly

Thanks Laurie! Well said!! I'm so happy I found this site and people like you!