The More You Know

This is a public service announcement for those who are interested in the brain procedure I’m having done this week.

Many people still don’t quite understand the previous three procedures I had done were not open brain surgery, but were done endovascularly via the main artery, which means the surgeon entered the brain through my groin. I know….strange, huh?

When my larger brain aneurysm ruptured in 2006, they inserted 16 very tiny platinum coils into the aneurysm to fill it and then the blood clots around the coils and basically seals up the aneurysm. The size and shape of the aneurysm lent itself to the less invasive procedure because it’s actually sitting ON my optical nerve and clipping at that time did not seem like a life-saving option.

However, five years later, it was discovered those 16 coils had started to compact and blood was once again starting to enter the aneurysm. As a result, 4 more coils were inserted and a stent was placed at the base of the aneurysm to keep blood flowing past the bottom of the aneurysm and keep the coils in place. So far so good on that one, but all three procedures were done via the groin.

My second, smaller brain aneurysm has grown and it has an odd shape in that it’s more rectangular and coiling didn’t seem to be the more durable option this time. A small titanium clip will be placed across the neck of the aneurysm. Then the aneurysm will be popped and should simply disappear, but it requires opening up the skull, going into the brain, adding the clip and closing my skull back up. A little more involved than the coiling and will require a little longer recovery period.

I found this great website that describes the clipping procedure in a no-nonsense type of way. I think this will really explain the procedure for those who are still confused. ANEURYSM CLIPPING

Then I found this terrific blog post written by a neuro-nurse on what to expect after a craniotomy. This gave me a better sense of what to expect afterwards in the hosptial and she injected some humor, which always helps. WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING A CRANIOTOMY

I will try to keep people updated on my progress and recovery on this blog.