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Old 06-01-2004, 08:58 AM   #1
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Unruptured 3mm cerebral aneurysm

Aneurysm's run in my family so as a precaution I got checked out and unfortunately they found one. Its 3mm and cannot be coiled due to its shape. However clipping should be straightforward. I've been told that there is a 2.5% chance that I may die, and a 2.5% chance that I may suffer from stroke like symptoms afterwards, if I have the surgery. The chances of the aneurysm bursting are given at 2-3% per year. I have also being told that if all goes well, I should be back at work after six weeks.

My surgeon recommends surgery. I'm 35, fit and healthy.

Anyone got any thoughts/comments? Anyone been down this road before?


Thanks!

Baz.

 
Old 06-01-2004, 09:41 AM   #2
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Re: Unruptured 3mm cerebral aneurysm

I don't have an answer, but they just found a 5mm in my head and I have appt with neurosurgeon tomorrow and neurologist on June 14th. They couldn't quite tell shape from CT scan but it looks as though it may be a candidate for coiling with similar percentage risks and I am going to have to make the same choice as you which I don't envy and I wish you all the patience, strength and courage in the world to decide this. I am 27 and also healthy.

 
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Old 06-01-2004, 03:39 PM   #3
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Re: Unruptured 3mm cerebral aneurysm

hello Baz and Mayansun,
I'm sorry to hear about your problem and good luck with your decisions, I think if I had to make that choice I would choose the surgery, only because I would be a basket case worrying that it would burst. I have been a bit of a basket case lately,as I have not been well for awhile so my doc sent me for tests to rule out MS,anyway to make a long story short they found a "promient bulge" in my head, possible aneurysm or clot.This was discovered with a ct scan.I was then scheduled to see a neuro to do a cerebral angiogram which was cancelled after my MRIs'(one with contrast)
Apparently the MRIs' did not find the "bulge".I am still going to see a neuro next month, but I feel kind of confused, why did the Cat scan see The"bulge" but the MRI didn't. What seems to stick out in my mind is that the doc said (after the Ct scan) " go for theMRI anyway, but the CT scan is a better diagnostic tool for this problem,MRI are better for diagnosing MS OR other brain related diseases" so if this is the case,why are we believing the MRI over the Cat scan.
Every pain I get in my head I get really worried, sorry to go on and on but as soon as I seen your post I thought you could shed some light.
Good luck with your decisions.

 
Old 06-02-2004, 12:41 AM   #4
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Re: Unruptured 3mm cerebral aneurysm

Thanks folks. Mayansun - please let me know how you get on with neurosurgeon tomorrow. Thanks!

 
Old 06-02-2004, 08:29 AM   #5
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Re: Unruptured 3mm cerebral aneurysm

Baz,

I certainly will. Did you have an angiogram done first by which they determined that coiling wasn't an option? I think that is my next step so that they have a better idea of what they are dealing with. My gut instinct is to get it out rather that risk rupture but I am going to see a neurologist in addition to the surgeon as I think it is good to have that balance so I would suggest you doing so as well if you haven't already.

I guess it comes down to risk v. your ability to live with knowing it is there and something could happen. I'm not sure I can do that but we'll see what he has to say and I'll be back tomorrow to let you know.

 
Old 06-03-2004, 12:59 AM   #6
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Re: Unruptured 3mm cerebral aneurysm

Yea I had an angiogram. The radiographer said there and then that it could'nt be coiled. I went to see the neurosurgeon a couple of weeks later and he confirmed it. I'm not seeing a neurologist though - what do they do?

 
Old 06-03-2004, 09:06 AM   #7
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Re: Unruptured 3mm cerebral aneurysm

Baz,

I saw the neurosurgeon yesterday (and also a surgeon who primarily does coiling). They said they had a pretty good view of the aneurysm without an angiogram and that it could be a candidate for coiling. I was told the risk with surgery for stroke or serious complications was 5% and given a similar percentage in terms of risk per year of rupture.

Both surgeons suggested the craniotomy due to my age (meaning how long I will have to live with this and the data is better for this prodecure as they are still learning about the other), the location of my aneurysm (at the fork of the artery which means more direct pressure and possible complications of coiling).

To me, the up front risks of surgery are better that the longterm risks of not knowing what could happen and risking rupture. I am utterly scared every day and scared about the possible risks of surgery but given the information I have it is the best choice I think I can make so I have informed the doctor that I want to schedule surgery as soon as possible to know that it will then be over and I get on with other things.

A neurologist studies the brain and nervous system but is not a surgeon and it was suggested to me by a family friend that I meet with one prior to having any surgery just to get their thoughts. In addition, I have been experiencing other symptoms unrelated to this, dizziness, some tingling in my feet etc.

 
Old 06-03-2004, 09:13 AM   #8
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Re: Unruptured 3mm cerebral aneurysm

How did your aneurysm come to be found? Is there any family history?

 
Old 06-03-2004, 01:39 PM   #9
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Re: Unruptured 3mm cerebral aneurysm

Nope, no family history to speak of (at least none that anyone has that have ruptured but none of my immediate family have ever had head MRI's so there is always that possibility.

I insisted on the head MRI due to my unexplained dizziness, and tingling and was concerned about tumors or MS. I'm also having headaches more often that are consistently on one side of my head but may or may not be directly related to the aneurysm. So I'm glad I had the test done, it may not tell why the other things are happening--though I do have lots of anxiety over all of this which can wreak havoc so I am on pills to calm (no need to raise the blood pressure).

I really hadn't even considered this as a possibility until they found it. I have surgery scheduled for 6/22 and that seems like forever to wait and they are going to see if there is anything soon but since they don't seem to think it is an emergency then I just have to take things one day at time.

Have you come any closer to making a decision?


To the other poster: as CT v MRI I don't know what to think if somethign shows on one not the other. I had a possible abnormality on an abdominal CT but nothing on the MRI and haven't had further pain so they are not pursuing it. Based on what the doctors have told me the CT may be slightly better at detecting smaller abnormalities with vessells and such but I would suggest a second opinion if you are still concernced and have conflicting results.

 
Old 06-03-2004, 01:42 PM   #10
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Re: Unruptured 3mm cerebral aneurysm

I'll probably have the surgery. What have u been told re recovery? How long should it take etc Can u drive?

 
Old 06-03-2004, 01:52 PM   #11
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Re: Unruptured 3mm cerebral aneurysm

The other factor was the success rate of these surgeries (upwards of 90% ) and the long-term prognosis for complete "cure" of the aneurysm. Since you too are pretty young at 37 and it good overall physical health it would seem they are giving us similar suggestions due to our hopeful long life expectancy.

The Dr. told me overnight in ICU and probably 2-3 stay in the hospital (god-willing no complications) and perhaps a week or so of rest and relax at home to give everything a chance to heal and then back to the office in 10 days to remove stitches but at that point should be able to return to work but probably not any strenuous activity and such. I didn't ask about driving (I commute to work by public transit) but that probably depends on any pain medications or temporary vision problems that may result. I've been reading about other folks experience and some are out 6 weeks and others only 10 days so it just depends.

My philosophy is to not rush anything as I am subjecting my body to an awful lot. I'm sure it is hard for them to gauge until they see how you make out. I will have an appt 1 week prior to surgery for lab tests and such to make sure I'm ok to handle it and will probably ask all my lingering questions at that point now that I"ve made the choice but they folks at the hospital have been super nice and understanding of my anxiety and quest for information.

 
Old 06-04-2004, 12:40 AM   #12
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Re: Unruptured 3mm cerebral aneurysm

Mayansun

If you're going to be back in work in a week or two then you must be having your aneurysms coiled. I am having mine clipped and have been told I wil be out for six weeks due to the fact that my skull will have to be opened slightly.

 
Old 06-04-2004, 08:51 AM   #13
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Re: Unruptured 3mm cerebral aneurysm

Nope,

I am having them clipped, perhaps I misunderstood them. I will call today to verify that as I know my employer has short-term disability which covers 11 weeks of sickness after 15 days so I think it would be ok but I have read stories from other people who were up and going sooner that that, I don't know.

 
Old 06-16-2004, 08:58 AM   #14
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Re: Unruptured 3mm cerebral aneurysm

Got a call at 4.30pm today to know if I could go into hospital this evening as a bed has come free. I had to turn it down - it was too sudden. The surgeon told me that I'd get a week or two notice. Not only have I got work to consider (cos I'll be out for six weeks), but wife and family too. Hopefully I'll get more notice next time but I'll try to be ready with a contingency plan just in case.

 
Old 06-21-2004, 12:52 PM   #15
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Re: Unruptured 3mm cerebral aneurysm

Baz,

I wish you the best. My surgery is tomorrow, have to be at the hospital at 5:30am but I'd rather just get in and get it done. I still don't have an answer for how long I might be out of work--they all say it depends on how everything goes and how recovery goes so I won't be upset if it takes longer and I'm certainly not going to rush it. I don't have a family depending on me but I don't like to miss work or be laid up.

Anyway, Take care!

 
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