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Brain Aneurysm Surgery & Treatment Options

Brain aneurysms, whether ruptured or unruptured, require attention from a skilled cerebrovascular specialist. Our team of neurosurgeons and neurointerventional surgeons at Barnes-Jewish Hospital collaborate to provide world-class aneurysm surgery and endovascular treatment.

Caring for hundreds of aneurysm patients each year gives our specialists the expertise to decide the most effective treatment for you and reduce the risk of complications. Barnes-Jewish is the highest volume aneurysm center in Missouri, using the latest procedures and techniques.

Our neurosurgeons and endovascular specialists are more experienced in aneurysm treatment having performed more procedures than any other hospital in the St. Louis region. This includes treating the most complex aneurysms for over 25 years. For you, this means a safer, quicker surgery with fewer days in the hospital.

If you have been diagnosed with an aneurysm, complete our aneurysm treatment form to learn more about your options at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.

Determining Your Aneurysm Treatment

Your aneurysm treatment depends on its shape, size and location in the brain. Each aneurysm is unique, which is why we develop a personalized treatment plan. Not all aneurysms need treatment, and we carefully consider your options to reduce the risk of rupture. 

When you come to Barnes-Jewish for aneurysm treatment, you can expect patient-centered care from a team of leaders in the field. Every week, a comprehensive team of specialists, including neurosurgeons, neurointerventional surgeons, stroke neurologist and more, meet to discuss each patient’s treatment and determine the best approach. 

Microsurgical Aneurysm Clipping

The traditional treatment for aneurysms is surgery, or clipping. Performed by one of our experienced neurosurgeons, aneurysm clipping opens a portion of the skull (craniotomy) and uses a microscope to locate the artery feeding the aneurysm. The neurosurgeon then places a small metal clip at the neck or opening of the aneurysm to block its blood supply and prevent it from bleeding.

Barnes-Jewish is a leader in mini (or keyhole) craniotomy, which is when the scalp incision and skull opening are very small. The length of a hospital stay after a mini craniotomy can be half the time of a standard craniotomy. Depending on your individual case, we perform this minimally invasive approach, so you can get back to your normal routine sooner. 

Endovascular Treatment & Therapies

Endovascular treatment can be an effective way to treat aneurysms. These minimally invasive procedures are performed by our highly trained group of endovascular specialists.

A catheter (small plastic tube) is placed into the artery, usually in the groin, and guided into the artery feeding the aneurysm. Detachable coils are then inserted into the aneurysm to prevent it from bleeding. Or, a flow-diverting stent (metal tube) is inserted to reinforce the artery and prevent blood from entering the aneurysm to protect it from rupturing.

As an Academic Medical Center, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine are at the forefront of perfecting the most advanced technologies and techniques, including the following minimally invasive endovascular treatments and catheter-based treatments:

  • Coiling: Soft, platinum coils fill the aneurysm and block blood flow.
  • Balloon-assisted coil embolization: An inflated balloon holds the coils in place while the endovascular specialist fills the aneurysm with coils.
  • Stent-assisted coil embolization: A stent is set at the base of the aneurysm to keep the coils in position within the aneurysm.
  • Pipeline, or flow diversion stent: This promotes blood flow through the brain artery but prevents blood from getting into the aneurysm to protect the aneurysm from rupturing.

Pipeline is the latest tool for treating brain aneurysms. Barnes-Jewish performs the most pipeline procedures in Missouri and Illinois. We can also perform a clipping and coil combination approach, which is not commonly available at other neurological centers. When our surgeons are able, your surgery can be hair-sparing, which is when the incision is hidden in the hair for a faster cosmetic recovery.

To make an appointment with a Washington University cerebrovascular specialist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, call 888.996.4894.

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

Find a doctor or make an appointment: 866.867.3627
General Information: 314.747.3000
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St. Louis, MO 63110
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