Brain Aneurysm Support Community

Unruptured aneurysms


Up until a couple of weeks ago, I was a watch and wait. My aneurysm was discovered quite by accident (or God's blessing, depending on one's outlook) in July 2012. My cardiologist was trying to find the cause(s) for my long-term sustained high blood pressure and had ordered an MRA. What we found was a 3 mm bulb aneurysm of the anterior communicating artery. The docs advised we get new pictures every 2 or 3 years to keep a close watch on it. I got my second films, a CT angiography, about 2 weeks ago and my little aneurysm has doubled in size to 6 mm.

I've been a basket case! My husband's mother dies less than a week before I got the CT results. He just lost his mom (on the 3rd anniversary of his papa's death), and now he is afraid he may lose me too. After two weeks of picking up and delivering my images to various neurological facilities, I finally got my appointment with the doc that will be doing my surgery. I cannot begin to describe the relief that I feel. We will meet with Doctor Joel MacDonald at the University of Utah Neurological Sciences Center in two days to determine which procedure will be the best option for me and schedule my surgery.

For me, this a victory worthy of celebration! We will be able to repair this little devil before it has a chance to rupture and begin my ascent to recovery. For my sweet husband, the appointment represents something else. It makes the situation/risk more real and I can see it in his temperament and in his posture that he is so afraid.

I have been scared out of my wits for the past 2 weeks, but now I know it will be alright. I pray that Doc MacDonald can help him to feel the same way during our appointment on Monday.

I have a 5 cm right internal carotid aneurysm now. 18 months ago(when it was found) it was 2 cm. after the last angio and a second opinion, I was told it was time to coil. I go in June 9th of this year for the procedure. Yep, I am scared, but blessed it was found and doctors feel it is an "easy" fix for an aneurysm. Good luck to you, Carol

Hey everyone (I did post that I finally had my MRA ) but figured I should post it here as well dragged it out till May, but results were everything stable! Not sure when or even if I will scan again . I am relieved and glad I checked . Hoping all are doing well and so appreciate this conversation. Feel free to contact me if I can be of help. Kelly

rhonda said:

I have a total of 6 aneurysms. One was coiled in 2005 (7 mm, basilar tip), The others are watch and waits! 1-5 mm right cavernous carotid, 1-5mm left cavernous carotid, 1-3mm right ophthalmic, 1-3mm left ophthalmic, 1-2mm left posterior. I've been blessed with no growth for 8 years, 'spose to go back in this year for monitoring, but not sure if I can due to insurance issues. I have continual headaches, but the "experts" say they are not related to the aneurysms. Most of the time I do fine, but nights like last night scare me, got a stiff neck for no known reason, and then my imagination takes off and I feel like a time bomb! It's good to see other posts with those who have gone a long time with no incidents.

I sincerely hope you are on meds to keep your blood pressure low. I have had at least 3 aneurysms identified 4 years ago, with no growth. Lucky. But also on meds for BP, which can help.


Hi, I am new to this group. I feel so lucky to find this site. Thank you for sharing your stories/insights!

I need help badly right now from any of you who has experience and/or thoughts about my case. I must make a decision in less than a week to decide if I should go through endovascular coiling procedures for my two unruptured brain aneurysms.

Three years ago I had a worst headache and lost consciousness for 30 minutes or so then recovered by itself. Three days later I saw my family doctor and did an MRA. Two brain aneurysms were detected. The doctors cannot be certain if that headache had anything to do with the aneurysms because I did not get it checked out within 48 hours. The BAs are 6 mm (ok shaped) and 4 mm (bad shaped).

I was too afraid to do the procedure even though my neurosurgeon recommended it. He also agreed to observe them by 6 months and then 12 months MRA.

There has been no change in the BAs in the past three years. But I have been having fear of their possible rupture and thinking whether I should get them coiled. Recently I heard my neurosurgeon who I trust is leaving for another state at the end of June 2020! I became freaking out and asked for the procedures before he leaves. He is kind to schedule it for me. I am very thankful. But Unexpected fear comes back to me. I am hesitating now! I am afraid it is a bad timing because of the pandemic. I am afraid there might be side effects of being coiled for the rest of my life, I am afraid the procedure might go wrong. I am afraid it is a bad decision because my aneurysms may never rupture. After all, only one rupture in 10,000 cases!

Need help! Thank you my new friends! By the way, I am 68 years old and healthy. I exercise daily for 1-2 hours.

My name is Virginia

Hi , the best thing would be to advice with your doctor . You are saying he recommended it in the past . What he is saying at this moment ? I would do coiling if my doctor recommends ( my aneurysm is on the watch ) ,but the time now is indeed difficult and risky due virus . I hope you have a chance to consult with doctors , what they think .

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Hi, gk79, Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and opinions with me! It means a lot to me because in three days I will meet with my neurosurgeon!

By the way, Do you know the rupture rate of the ba patients? My struggling is that if the rate is very low and my case is either/or, I may not have to go through the procedures? The procedure itself has an average risk of 1-3% I heard. My neurosurgeon assured me his risk is lower than the national average.
Look forward to hear from you and others again!

I don’t know the rapture rate , but I feel there is more risks: car accident , stressful situation , head injury that can easily cause the rapture . In my situation , the aneurysm is on the watch , but I haven’t been feeling great last 5 years ,fatigue , tinnitus, headeches , etc . So I would do the treatment I think in my case if doctor offers so . My check up will be in fall . Have you talked to your doctor ?

I had a MRI on March16th, 2020. Reason for MRI was to rule out MS. I have some eye issues ongoing for awhile now. Anyways the MRI found a cerebral aneurysm! At that moment, my life changed. I was told to go directly to the ER. I went and all they did was referred me to a neurosurgeon, not a neurologist. That made me nervous. I had a week to wait to see the neurosurgeon, plus we were placed "Stay at Home orders from covid-19 and non essentials businesses were closed. My stress and anxiety rose. I saw my family doctor and she put me on meds for high blood pressure. Did not know it was an issue as many times as doctors and nurses checked my blood pressure. Stressing! Saw the surgeon and he said looks small maybe 3mm. Lets do a CT scan and probably monitor the aneurysm. Ct was done that same day. I received a call before I got back home. Which was only 20 minutes away. They ordered a angiogram for the following week and mentioned discussing treatment, coiling or clipping. After the angiogram they determined a 8 mm irregularly shaped unruptured ACOM. . A craniotomy for clipping of the complex aneurysm was therefore recommended, scheduled 5 days later. All this happened in less then a month. It has now been 2 months since they clipped the aneurysm with 3 clips. I mentally feel different still today.

Welcome klein11! Wow aren’t you lucky! It seems like the stars aligned all in the best of order for you. I believe it’s much better to have an aneurysm stabilized prior to rupture than having one rupture, but that’s me. When you say you feel mentally different, what do you mean?

Klein11 , I am glad everything was done so quickly for you,tests and treatment . I hope you are feeling ok …

I’ve been having major trouble with high bp for the last few months, finally just in the last week it’s decent (120’s/80’s) I’m really feeling paranoid and trying to get an appointment with a vascular neurologist, they’re 'spose to call by next week.
What size are your aneurysms? Have you had any treated before?

I had a 7mm coiled in 2005, it wasn’t a hard proceedure to go through and it has been stable since. I am now 63 years old and in good health. I have 5 other aneurysms and have been fighting high blood pressure, I’m hoping to get the two that are 5mm coiled, think it would be worth doing just for the stress relief. Would much rather have unruptured ones coiled than take the chance of a rupture. I think the fear of high bp and rupturing probably contributes to the high bp.
My best advice would be to spend time in prayer and listen to your Drs. advice.

Thanks for responding. When I say I feel different is I found myself separating myself from everyone. I feel somewhat better. Every week is one more week to full recovery. I now get stiff neck and pressure on the side of my head where they made the cut to enter to clip.

Thank you klein11. After I ruptured and was finally released from Neuro ICU, it took me months to be able to be around people. My parents were still alive and they babysat me. Their tv was too loud, the house too bright and it hurt. After a couple of months, we finally went out to eat breakfast with friends. I was overwhelmed when the place filled up. My tremor and speech issues escalated. We learned to make sure I sat with my back to the sun, to sit outside whenever possible, etc. It took time, a lot of time. Even though I was never a social butterfly, we gradually increased our outings. Not just the number, but the length and group size. It takes practice. It can be very difficult during this pandemic to practice, but it’s something we need to do. Of course if you venture out, where a mask, wash your hands, remember social distancing. Use FaceTime, Skype, Zoom etc to have visual contact while talking. Try the groups that BAF is doing with Zoom and their other online interaction. Get a hobby and interact with internet groups concerning that hobby. As humans, we are gregarious, meaning we do better with others, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Make life more than your aneurysm. Keep in touch, please!

Thanks for responding. I am feeling better. I guess 2 months in recovery for me was the hardest, even when I started back to work. Still on the mend but feeling much better in every way. You can’t even tell I had 32 staples down the right side of my head. :slight_smile:

BID is awesome! You’d be in good hands :heart:

Happy dancing you’re feeling better! And back to work! That’s really, really good news. I realize working can be exhausting, but check in with us every now and then please.

Yes you are right in top Neuro Surgeons in Boston.
I wouldn’t think twice about having surgery with Dr. Ogilvy. I would rather have surgery than watch and go through all those emotions mine was done a mgh before he went to Beth Iseral. My also was small 3mm and was a wide neck but wanted to leak upon surgery. Glad I made the choice i have one in my canverious sinus which is unoperable , . Dr Ogilvy doesn’t forget a name and his nurse Dede is wonderful to. Still visit him and Dede when I’m in the building.Yes he’s one of the top in country. His personality is like a neighbor next store. Lucky if you have him.

I have a 7.5 mm aneurysm and having treatment (coiling or web) August 12. Assuming & praying all goes well, how can I expect to feel after surgery and during recovery? My anxiety was so bad, I’m on an antidepressant now and feeling less anxious. Also trying to keep my blood pressure down. Thanks for any advice.