There are 2 major options available for treating aneurysms:
Coiling is preferred over clipping method because clipping technique is yet an invasive procedure and takes longer time to recover from than the coiling procedure.
Endovascular aneurysm coiling is an advanced minimally invasive technique in which there is no incision required for reaching the aneurysm, rather a catheter is used for the same.
If the aneurysm grows, it starts getting thinner and weaker, increasing the chances of rupture and leakage. As a result, blood may flow in the outer area of artery which is life threatening. In order to save patient from this danger, aneurysm coiling is performed. During the procedure, small platinum coils are released into the aneurysm. These coils cause clotting of the aneurysm (also called embolization), thus stopping blood from flowing into it and letting it flow through the normal arteries.
Decision regarding the choice of aneurysm treatment is taken by the treating doctor after examining the patient's condition. Coiling is effective in both the cases of ruptured aneurysms as well as unruptured aneurysms. It also has following advantages:
You will be given some instructions to be followed for the day of procedure. On arrival to the hospital, you will be taken to cath lab where you will be prepared for procedure. It takes around 2 to 4 hours.
The procedure is commonly performed under general anesthesia. Your treating doctor will start by inserting a catheter in the groin area. The coil is attached to this catheter. Once the catheter reaches and enters the aneurysm, an electric current is used to separate coil from the catheter. This coil is left there permanently and it seals the aneurysm. Number of coils to be used depends upon the size of aneurysm. In case the aneurysm has wide opening or it has unusual shape, your doctor may use stent to hold the coil in place. After that your doctor will inject contrast inject to check the functioning of coil and ensure that blood is nor more flowing into the aneurysm.
The coils used are made of platinum metal and are very soft spring like in structure. They are so thin that you can compare them to the size of human hair.
The catheter is carefully removed after placing and inspecting the coils. Your doctor or medical attendant may apply some pressure on the groin area for around 30 mins to ensure that there is no bleeding from that site. After that, a bandage is nicely applied over that area.
Post procedure, you will be kept in the recovery area for observation and monitoring of vitals. You may have feeling of nausea or vomiting. You need not worry about this as you will be given medication to take care of these symptoms and pain.
You may also be asked to keep lying straight for few hours without moving the bandaged leg. You would discharged from the hospital in a day or two after getting shifted to ward area.
You may find a lump or bruising in the groin area where the catheter was inserted. This is normal and you are just required to follow the instructions given by your doctor at the time of discharge. There might also be a mild headache, which mainly occurs due to the use of contrast dye during the procedure. Try drinking plenty of water will help as it flushes out the dye.
It is advised not to take up any strenuous activity or driving for next few days (usually 5 to 7 days) or until the doctor allows you.
While taking bath, make sure the groin area doesn't get hurt or pressurized. Gently remove bandage, and clean the area and dry it before applying new bandage. In case, steri-strips have been used instead of bandage, let them fall on their own.
Unless otherwise instructed by treating doctor, you can get back to routine life in a week or two.
Call your doctor in case of following symptoms:
You will be asked to go for follow up visit so that your doctor may examine your recovery and make any changes in the medication and also give you instructions to be followed in the long run.
As stated earlier too, no procedure is risk free. Some complications and risks are associated with this procedure too. Following is the list of common ones that you should be aware of:
All these can be avoided by medication and the expertise of your treating doctor. All you need to do is choose the best hospital with the best team to take care of your problem. There are proven long term benefits of this procedure.