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.
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.
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.
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.
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.