Type of Surgery
Last updated: 11/24/2009
Cerebral, or brain, aneurysms occur in about 2% of the American population. An estimated 15â€“33% of these patients have more than one aneurysm present. Occurrence of certain other medical conditions appears to increase the chances of developing aneurysms....
These conditions include polycystic kidneys, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus), and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), a genetic disease that affects collagen, which is a primary component of connective tissue. Aneurysms in children are very rare, strongly suggesting that the condition develops, enlarges, and becomes symptomatic over a person's lifetime.
Other less frequent causes of aneurysms are infectious material from the heart, trauma, brain tumor, and brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM), a defect of the brain's circulatory system that results in the abnormal direct movement of blood from the arteries to the veins of the brain. The average age of cerebral aneurysm rupture is in the fifth decade of life and occurs more often in women than men by a slight margin. Environmental factors known to increase the chances of aneurysm development and rupture are cigarette smoking, excess alcohol consumption, and atherosclerotic heart disease. Some families have a definite genetic predisposition; in such families, aneurysms may run as high as 10%.
An artist's representation of what nerves and nerve bundles look like at the microscopic level. It also shows how the anatomy of a nerve allows it to transmit electrical signals and communicate with other neurons (nerves).
Cerebral aneurysm repair involves corrective treatment of an abnormal blood-filled sac formed by localized expansion of an artery or vein within the brain. These sacs tend to form at the juncture between a primary vessel and a branch. If the vessel involved is an artery, the lesion is also known as a berry aneurysm because of its round, berry-like appearance.
The purpose of the surgical treatment of cerebral aneurysms is to isolate the weakened vessel area from the blood supply. This is commonly done through the strategic placement of small, surgical clips to the neck of the lesion. Thus, the aneurysm becomes isolated from the normal circulation without damaging adjacent vessels or their branches and shrinks in size to become undetectable, a process known as aneurysm obliteration.
More than 60 percent of procedures neurosurgeons perform are spine-related, according to the National Neurosurgical Procedural Statistics 2006 Survey from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS).
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