Question about psychological disorders and clipping

Can you develop a phsycological disorder from having the clipping surgery? such as becoming senile, not being able to function normaly as before surgery?

Good Morning! I’ve moved your question to a new topic.

Interesting question you’ve asked. I know that after a rupture our chances of developing dementia is higher. I used to joke that I hope I would get Alzheimer’s before brain cancer which is also higher apparently for those of us who ruptured until I was corrected and told it would be dementia. But I figure that’s years away for me. I ruptured at 53 and have made it to 62!

I think, but don’t know, that anyone who has had to have brain surgery of any type for any reason can develop psychological issues. There seems to be a need for acceptance of what has happened, how we are going to deal with it and the desire to move past it just as anything else that we have experienced that is traumatic in our lives.

You are still recovering with only about two months out, I think. I have never read that clipping increases our chances of senility and hope other members who are in our age group can answer that specifically. There is a good bit of time needed to regain cognitive thought processing from what I’ve read here after clipping, how much time depends a lot on the person.

Check out sites like AARP and the American Stroke Association for games to play to help keep your mind sharp. We do need to treat our brain as a muscle and keep challenging it.

If you’re very concerned, talk to a licensed therapist. I think those trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are helpful as well as those with a background in brain injuries. To me, a good therapist is one who helps us with the development of a new set of skills and it can be challenging. If we chose to work with a therapist, we need to put the effort in for change.


I think that you can. I had a ruptured aneurysm that was coiled and two others that were clipped. The second one to get clipped was 6 months after the first two. That one was very hard to access and it took a long time to do so. I recall the doctor saying that he limited how much brain movement he could do per hour, and there was quite a bit of movement. I was worse off mentally after that surgery than I was after the initial rupture and surgery. Psychologist determined that I had something similar to vascular dementia and I believe it was from the amount of movement of the brain. It does get better with time and brain games. Hope that my opinion is correct and that it helps.


This is one of those questions that I’m sorry to say I don’t believe has a definitive answer. It becomes more of a physiological vs psychological question. Is the person slowing down because of a physical issue or because of a psychological caution or a fear. Now, I say this from my own experience. I’ve required a few neurosurgical procedures and each one has had it’s own impact.

My initial surgery I really had no clue what was happening, it all sort of happened around me as it was an emergency at the time. The recovery I thought would be like any other surgical recovery, but physically I simply couldn’t do what was once normal. I had to slow everything down. This was all very foreign to me and I hated it.

Less than 6mths later and I was told I needed further surgery and psychologically, the idea of going through it all again, was a HUGE battle. Add that to the physical impact of the recovery and I was an unmitigated mess. One of the biggest issues I had was that my physical symptoms reduced my physical ability which fed my psychological angst, which in turn affected my physical ability. It was like they were feeding off of each other.

Now, you say about “…not being able to function normaly as before surgery?”
Hmmm, ‘normaly’. All of my ‘normals’ up and vanished. My tolerances, both my physical tolerances and my tolerances for others changed. I couldn’t return to my former profession, I couldn’t cope with even a few hours work without becoming symptomatic. It used to be that I was quite diplomatic and consolatory in my approach, post surgery my tolerance went to nil. If someone annoyed me, they got told and forget the diplomat, I was blunt and direct and although I wasn’t purposely rude, it was often interpreted as offensive. The problem may have not actually been the individual who annoyed me, but rather a combination of factors both physical and psychological, that all boiled over then and there and god help anyone in the vicinity.

Merl from the Modsupport Team


I found that the psychological changes were more noticeable to me and probably others than the physical changes post surgery hands down. I didn’t look like I just experienced a 7 hour craniotomy clipping because my head was not shaved. My wonderful endovascular surgeons parted my hair where the incisions were to be and plastered it with a vaseline type gel and iodine. Once the wrappings and staples were removed, besides a bit of a swollen face, I looked the same as before the surgery. But, I was far from the same and a year later I am recovering physically faster than psychologically. I find the fear of, “is this headache another aneurysm?” getting less and less. But I doubt will ever completely go away.

I accept the difference and sometimes joke that I am going to wear my t-shirt that says, “I had brain surgery. What’s your excuse?” I don’t wear it but sometimes think it.:smiling_imp:

I find that my dyslexic spelling took a big hit. I have to look up the spelling of words I once knew. My sense of not wasting time on anything that doesn’t bring happiness to me and or others has been super charged. I too find that I am more direct but also more expressive with kindness if that makes sense. In the effort to keep my stress level and blood pressure down, I let things go when I can. And that way of thinking is a work in progress.

We all have survived in one form or another brain aneurysms. Our lives will be forever changed but we have our lives! I am a public service announcement for Brain scans. Give me 5 minutes and I’ll tell you how important it is to get scanned. My ICA 8mm long neck with daughter sacks was found during a routine MRI for a potential acoustic neuroma for an elevated hearing loss more in one ear than the other.

Within 4 weeks of finding out about my aneurysms, I had an appointment and was seen at the Mayo Clinic and New York Presbyterian Cornell University Hospital where Drs. Sander Connelly and Sean Levine saved my life. I live in South Carolina and look forward to my annual scan visit to NY Presbyterian for the rest of my life.

I am extremely grateful for this supportive and informative forum. The sharing here of each of our experiences has helped me more than I can express. Thank you BAF and thank you moderators for providing a safe place to share and learn. So grateful to all of you for sharing your story!


Wondering why you have to go there to get your scans I live in Pennsylvania I had my clipping done in Maryland but my primary doctor here in Pennsylvania sends in my script for my annual scan which island forward to my neurosurgeon in Baltimore. I do not have to go there.

I travel to New York Presbyterian Cornell Hospital for my post op visits because my son and his family live near by and I have complete confidence in the two surgeons there that saved my life.
I tried having my first post op diagnostic angiogram here in SC and I did not have a very good experience. During the procedure
the surgeon left me with the resident to accept a non-emergency phone call. I was awake enough during the procedure to hear someone call into the OR over a speaker that there was phone call for the surgeon. Who responded to put them through. I remember thinking that this must be a real emergency for him to take this call during a procedure. He walked away from the table and I could hear him talking and chuckling to whom ever was on the call.:face_with_peeking_eye:

In recovery he recommended that I needed two endovascular surgeries in the near future. I didn’t know what to say and almost signed up for the surgeries. Then the sedation wore off and I came to my senses.:wink: I sent the results of the test to my surgeons in NY and they both disagreed with the SC surgeon that I needed any further surgeries.

Six months later when I went to NY Presbyterian for my one year post op visit, I had a CTA there. Again, my surgeons said that the craniotomy/clipping was in excellent shape and I did not have any new aneurysms or areas of concern. They were happy with my progress.

I only wanted a diagnostic angiogram for my NY Presbyterian surgeons to read. Not a second opinion. I went to the Mayo Clinic and Duke University for opinions before I went to New York Presbyterian Cornell Hospital and decided to have my surgery there.

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I think I would have reported that surgeon to the CMA of the hospital in a New York Minute! Then I would get on the website and explain why he was a nitwit. (We have a place on ours that we can score the doctors and say something about them.)
When I read about your experience I wanted to knock that surgeon on the head, how dare he!

My Neurosurgeon at WFBH has only allowed one Resident to put in the catheter, one in all of my procedures. The Resident was very good but stopped when she felt the artery do a bit of a twist and said she would wait for Dr. Quintero-Wolfe to come in. I tried to encourage her to go ahead but she was going to wait. Dr. Q-W has never taken a phone call during any of my procedures. There’s been a few times where I had to wait due to real emergencies but it’s never bothered me, I just would ask her old team to play music I liked if I was on the table already.

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That’s who did my clipping too!!! They’re amazing!!!

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Hey Luvmyboys! Are you referring to the two superstar endovascular surgeons, Drs.Connelly and Levine at New York Presbyterian Cornell that did your clipping too? My son in law is an Emergency Department doctor and my daughter an Emergency Department nurse. When I found out that I had some uninvited “guests” on my anterior carotid arteries, they both did research on who were the top rated endovascular surgeons and as an added bonus in a top rated hospital. I had already interviewed neurosurgeons at Mayo and Duke and both were outstanding surgeons.
When I found out that the surgeons at New York Presbyterian were the professors for the surgeon at Mayo, I knew I couldn’t go wrong with any of them.
I hope your recovery has been and is gentle and progressing nicely. Especially since you have some boys to take care of! I bet they are taking care of you!

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Thank you Moltroub, for your support! That means a lot to me. I was hesitant to share this experience but decided it might be helpful to someone especially in the importance of second opinions and going to the surgeons with the best reputation especially among their peers as well as their patients.

I am glad you had a surgeon that didn’t leave you on the table to yak it up with a phone call! Nice you were able to listen to some music while waiting. I asked for Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” to be played in the OR before my sedation. It set a happy tone for us all!:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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@Suzanne Thank you for sharing about your bad experience with having a surgeon accept a call in the OR when you were on the table.

Before my brain aneurysm clipping, I was scheduled at a teaching hospital with a lauded interventional radiologist to see if my aneurysm could be addressed with coiling to avoid undergoing a craniotomy and open brain surgery to have a clipping.

My friend went to the procedure with me. Her husband had experienced a series of 3 liver transplants and she learned a lot about the importance of patient advocacy during the many months she spent at his bedside.

They required me to be alert—no general anesthesia—during this diagnostic procedure during which they would insert a camera up through a small incision in my groin and thread it all the way up to the brain to take a series of images to determine whether the size, shape and location of the aneurysm would allow a coiling instead of a clipping.

They had me in pre-op and she was with me. After 2 failed IV line insertion attempts, she made them call a nursing supervisor and I learned about the “3-stick rule.” My veins are narrow and tend to roll, so not something a newbie can handle. She taught me that patients have the right to insist on a more highly experienced nurse if the first two attempts fail. After they had called in someone to put in the IV line who quickly accomplished what the newbie could not, she taught me the next important patient advocacy lesson.

A resident came over and introduced himself as the doctor who would be performing my surgical procedure that day. He was very young and was not the esteemed surgeon I had seen at my prior appointment, whom I had chosen to do my diagnostic surgical procedure. I knew that, but since they had already put something in my IV line that lessened my ability to advocate on my own behalf, I was so thankful she was there. She spoke up and firmly refused for him to “perform my procedure today.” She insisted they call the surgeon I’d selected, not allow a resident of his with minimal experience to do it. We expected him to be the hands-on surgeon threading that camera up from my groin incision to the brain.

I would not have been able to accomplish on my own what she was able to do on my behalf. It’s so important we have confidence in our surgeons.


What you’re describing is an angiogram, those of us with coils, stents etc have experience with them as you mentioned!

It’s important to tell anyone that’s going to stick you for blood work or an IV line about your veins. BH has the same problem with small rolling veins, they use a butterfly. BH also tells them not to try following it with the needle, apparently that hurts like the dickens. I have scar tissue from my stay in NSICU, I have to tell them that before they stick me or they can’t get it in. It’s a bit painful but it only take the one miss for me to remember what I forgot to warn them about. They also use a butterfly on me sometimes and sometimes they have to use the little vein finding ultrasound machine, I don’t know the name, maybe @oct20 does. The 3 stick rule gives the person three chances before they call someone else. I think the RNs or phlebotomists that have worked with Pediatrics are the best, lol. One thing that helps them tremendously is being hydrated before you get a stick, it makes our veins and arteries a bit more puffy is how one RN explained it.

I think it’s also great that you didn’t equate age with experience like many of us often do, they aren’t the same thing I’ve learned. And your reminding us about self advocacy is fantastic, good job!


Whoa! Thank goodness that you had an health advocate to stand in for you! What a scary experience you had. I didn’t know about the three stick ‘rule’. My veins have the tendency to roll and are small as well.
It sounds like your procedure was the same one I was having, a diagnostic angiogram, when the surgeon left the table and the resident to continue the procedure. I was awake enough during the procedure to remember thinking that this can’t be happening.
Your story is a good reminder to be vigilant and if possible have someone that you know and trust share your medical experiences with you.


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