What Is Coil Embolization?

You're healthy, active and life is good. Then, you start having pain behind your eyes, frequent killer headaches and difficulty with your vision and balance. You shake it off as nothing, but you shouldn't. You may have a brain aneurysm.

A brain aneurysm occurs when a weakness in the wall of a blood vessel causes it to balloon. Left untreated, the ballooning blood vessel could burst and kill you.

Coil Embolization is a medical technique to treat brain aneurysms...

The coil embolism technique was pioneered in 1991 by Guido Guglielmi at UCLA. It's a technique that places a stent at the point of the aneurysm and inserts a coil into the bulging blood vessel. The coil forms a clot that treats the aneurysm.

What Is Coil Embolization?

...it could save your life...

Most brain aneurysms form at the base of the brain and can burst if they are big enough. It's a life threatening situation if blood from a ruptured aneurysm floods your brain. Coil embolization can treat this deadly medical condition relatively quickly and easily.

...does not require cranial surgery...

The surgery is performed through an incision in your leg. A catheter is inserted into your groin, pushed up through your aorta and into your brain where the aneurysm is located. Another older, but still popular technique requires a skull-cracking craniotomy in which the brain is exposed, the aneurysm located and surgically clipped away.

...has a high success rate...

A 2005 study by Stryker Neurovascular showed that 96% of patients with unruptured aneurysms and 90% with ruptured aneurysms were alive and kicking 15 months after coil embolization treatment.

...and cuts your recovery time to one month, not one year.

Patients who were treated via coil embolism recovered within a month, while those who underwent cranial-cracking brain surgery took up to one year to recover. [Shutterstock/Junial Enterprises]


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