Almost all aneurysms must be treated. The ultimate goal of treatment is to prevent future bleeding while preserving the artery. Our team of experts specializing in aneurysms includes a neurologist, neurosurgeon and neuroradiologist.

In most cases, aneurysms can be successfully treated. A child's prognosis depends on how much bleeding occurred and how function and consciousness was initially affected by the ruptured aneurysm.

Currently there are two major treatments for brain aneurysms, including:

  • Surgery — Surgery involves placing small, metal clips at the base of the aneurysm where it bulges from the artery, which clips or ties off the bulging section of the artery without tearing the artery and causing a stroke. This technique, known as microsurgical clipping, has an excellent success rate. However, some aneurysms cannot be safely clipped and require other surgical procedures, such as vascular bypass grafting. During this procedure, a vein is taken from the leg and used to reroute blood flow around the damaged artery.

  • Endovascular Therapy — A fairly new alternative to surgery is endovascular treatment of brain aneurysms. This procedure involves placing small, metal coils inside the aneurysm, which helps to prevent further bleeding. It is important to note that although this therapy appears to be safe and effective, there is less experience with this therapy in children.

After a child's aneurysm has been treated, complications can occur. This includes a condition known as vasospasm, in which the blood vessels around the site of the aneurysm clamp down. This can cause a decrease in blood supply to part of the brain, resulting in stroke.

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Pediatric Brain Center

Stroke & Cerebrovascular Disease Center
1825 Fourth St., Fifth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-7596
Fax: (415) 353-2400
Appointment information

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