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Brain Aneurysm

A brain aneurysm, also called cerebral aneurysm or intracranial aneurysm, happens when a weak spot in a blood vessel in your brain fills with blood and bulges out. While treatment is not always necessary for brain aneurysms, a ruptured brain aneurysm is a medical emergency because there is bleeding around the brain (subarachnoid hemorrhage).

Barnes-Jewish Hospital treats the highest number of patients with ruptured and unruptured brain aneurysms in the St. Louis region and state of Missouri, as well as a number of patients from other states. We treat approximately 150 people with ruptured aneurysm and 500 people with unruptured aneurysm each year.

Since we care for such a large number of aneurysm patients, our physicians are well equipped to diagnose and treat your aneurysm with fewer complications and a shorter recovery time. In fact, research shows that neurological centers performing a high volume of procedures produce better outcomes. 

Barnes-Jewish offers a collaborative environment where you will be cared for by a team of expert neurosurgeons, neurointerventional surgeons, neuroanesthesiologists, neurointensivists and more.

Request an appointment with an expert at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

Diagnosing Your Brain Aneurysm Symptoms

Many aneurysms are found during imaging tests for other conditions. You may or may not have symptoms of brain aneurysm.

A ruptured aneurysm typically causes severe symptoms, such as a sudden onset headache, neck pain, double vision, weakness or paralysis on one side of your body, speech difficulties, nausea and vomiting, and unconsciousness. Call 9-1-1 or seek emergency care if you have symptoms of an aneurysm rupture.

Unruptured aneurysms may also cause symptoms, such as pain behind an eye, double vision, loss of vision, numbness on one side of your face, and weakness or paralysis on one side of your body.

At Barnes-Jewish, we are able to quickly diagnose an aneurysm and identify the treatment necessary, as well as have all the equipment and tools at hand, even in an emergency. We offer a full complement of both subspecialized diagnostic neuroradiology and interventional neuroradiology, which is not found at most neurological centers. This expertise helps us identify, diagnose and treat aneurysms before or after they rupture. 

Brain Aneurysm Treatment & Recovery

Not all aneurysms require treatment, and your team at Barnes-Jewish will work with you to carefully weigh the options between treatment and monitoring. In the case of a ruptured aneurysm, we have full operating room teams available around the clock, so we always have someone who can immediately start surgery.

Barnes-Jewish is an Academic Medical Center (AMC) and partner of Washington University School of Medicine, allowing us to pioneer the use of new technologies. We were the first to use pipeline (flow diversion) stent in the state of Missouri, which is the latest tool in aneurysm treatment. From aneurysm clipping to balloon-assisted aneurysm coiling, we are No. 1 in aneurysm surgery and endovascular aneurysm treatment in the St. Louis region.

After surgery, you can recover in one of our state-of-the-art facilities, including the neuro-intensive care unit (neuro ICU), neuro step-down unit, neurosurgery unit and The Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis. Neuro-rehabilitation physicians, specially-trained nurses and other specialists will help you achieve your best possible outcome.

To make an appointment with a Washington University cerebrovascular specialist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, call 855.925.0631.

2018 Best Hospitals - Neurology and Neurosurgery

#7 in the Nation
by U.S. News & World Report



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