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Hi this is my story

i am a 42yr old woman, living in ireland. recently i went for a scan due to a hearing problem.

on the scan they found that i had a fusiform aneurysm 1.0cm x 1.2cm on my left side [middle]. the doctor was a hearing specialist so he refered me to a neurologist after 2 weeks i got an appointment for october 2012. i have read many articles regarding this illness and many are tragic, sad and extremely worrying. i have some questions that i would like answers to and maybe the experience of this community can put my mind at ease. we have public health available and possibly private that we cannot really afford. so my questions are:

  1. how worried should i be at having to wait so long?
  2. is there a predictable growth rate?
  3. what can i do to prevent this getting worse?
  4. i smoke and i know this is not good but am concerned that stopping would be very difficult and actually cause more stress and high blood pressure what should i do?
  5. any other advice.

Not knowing is the difficult part. i am just looking for genuine honest opinions, experiences and information rather than scaremongering or trivialism. i do not want to spend the next 16 months worring myself silly if it is not necesary but nor do i want to sit and wait when it could be imperative that i seek more urgent help. advice and support here in ireland is minimal at best and i have also discovered that we have the fewest neurologists per head of population in the whole of europe.

mant thanks for reading this.


im sorry i dont have any advice on this situation as i had my 5mm anny rupture in oct 09…i was 41…just turned 43 in may…i am assuming that the nuerologist got a copy of your films from the hearing dr…that is an extremely long amt of time and would drive me crazy as well…i would try to find another nuero dr to see you to at least put your mind at ease…they have annys that drs choose to “wait n watch” …but it would feel better from the dr that u will be fine until a yr from now,annys are unpredictable…i know that much…find another dr…i live in texas in the states…i will keep you on my prayers for sound mind and sound body…keep ur faith strong n ur fears will dissolve…take care n God bless

Hi and Welcome To BAF...Susan...!

First, quit smoking...smoking causes high blood pressure...high blood pressure is a main cause of rupturing...but no scare tactics here...just the is your decision and you need to make it...

I had a 9mm leaky annie on my basilar tip...I saw a neurologist within 1 month of finding...and then he sent me to Neurosurgeons within a few weeks...2 weeks from there...I had surgery and my annie coiled...they told me...time was of the essence...every situation is different...perhaps they are not worried of your's rupturing...Doc's are suppose to look at age, (I was 45)..., your factors of possible rupture...where it is located in the brain, etc., and of course the size of the that being personal opinion...I wouldn't wait that long to see a neurologist...I would find someone else...if they are not worried about your annie...a neurologist should be able to ease your mind...

Once an annie is found...even if it is to be only should be looked at and one should have answers sooner then later...I would tell your Doctor or who said you would have to wait that is unacceptable...

Healing Thoughts your way...Colleen


1) I know this would be a pain, but keep calling periodically to see if there are any cancellations or if you can be placed on a cancellation wait list especially if you can make that appointment fairly quickly.

2) I not aware of a predictable growth rate. A second scan after a month or three could better predict whether it has a slow or fast growth rate.

3) Anti-anxiety medication would be helpful and also if your primary care doctor would agree, a beta blocker that controls blood pressure could also be helpful.

4) Tour really need to try quitting smoking, it is a risk factor for aneruysms. Quitting may also slow the growth rate.

5) Do you have meditation groups that you can attend. This could also help you relax and controal blood pressure and even help quit smoking.

My family (Dunleavy) immigrated from Ireland in the 1830's but I'm not sure the location except it being East Central. If you have any other questions feel free to ask away.

I had a fusiform aneurysm on diagnosis. The size is small for a fusiform, however each aneurysm is different. I agree with the others to keep your blood pressure under control and stop smoking. Monitor your blood pressure and keep a log, If you notice it start to increase or be drastically higher then call your MD immediately so you do not rupture. My best advice to you would be to keep in tune with your body. If you are experiencing headaches, keep a headache journal with pain descriptions like sharp,dull, etc. If you have any different symptoms like eye twitches, hearing loss, and it keeps getting worse, call your MD. The best way to keep this from getting worse is to decrease the risk factors you can change. Hope all of this helps!!



I am sorry to hear that you are going through this. I don't know if this will help you or not but my mother has two annies which are also being watched. She has one that is 1mm and one that is 3mm's. She goes for yearly scans. She had one just two weeks ago and got the results a few days ago, they are the same size. As of last year they had decided to want and see what happens, if the 3mm one were to grow at all then they would do surgery. Her children were told that they should be checked, 3 out of 5 of us have which 2 of us have been found to have aneurysm's. I have had to have surgery, my sister is going for an angio today but has also been on the wait and watch system.

If you can not get into see your nuero then maybe you can atleast make a list of your concerns and try to have a telephone consultation with him/her. I also live in Europe so I know how the medical system can be.

I wish you all the luck in the world!

Prayers & thoughts.


Hi All

thank you all for your kind words and advice.

my husband and I have also decided to hound the MD and government dept.

we will also look at travelling to another european country.

thanks once again.

will keep you all posted



Hounding the doctor/government is a good ide as well as asking to be on a cancellation list. As far as growth I agree with others. There is no way of telling. I had a 6mm clipped and have a second that’s 2.8 we are watching but I only need to go for a CT every 5 years. It’s not as though a CT is cheap like a blood test and you can just say the heck with it I’ll just pay for it myself. Good luck.


Regarding #2, I understand that specialist typically wait until an aneruysm grows to 5cm at which time surgery is warranted. I don't know if this protocol is applicable to Ireland.

Hi Susan,

Finding out the first time can be quite daunting. My 8.5 aneurysm was found by accident due to an ENT requesting for an MRI for my tinnitus. Everything went quickly from there and was coiled 2 months later. Once I found out about my aneurysm, I read everything I can about it and I am no doctor nor profess to be an expert on this but from what I have read, yours is probably not the size that neurosurgeons will operate on as the risks of coiling or clipping would outweigh the risks of rupture. The neurosurgeon will weigh other factors too such as overall health, age, etc. The key, in your situation, is to closely monitor and manage it. If they check in the next appointment that it has grown, then they can predict the rate of growth. Did you have a CT Angiogram or just an MRI/MRA? CTA is the golden standard for neurosurgeons viewing into your arteries. I guess my main advice is to just be aware of symptoms, be as close as possible to a good hospital with good emergency facilities. If you experience "the worst headache of your life", then it might be possible that it ruptured and you have to be as close to an ER as time is of the essence if it does. I had to cancel my flight to Fiji, not due the air pressure stuffing up my annie possibly, but because I want to be as close to my neurosurgeon as much as possible just in case. Also, lead a healthy lifestyle - no alcohol, no smoking, etc.

Good luck and God bless