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Cerebral Aneurysm Essay

832 words - 3 pages

A ruptured cerebral aneurysm is a possible life threatening event. A person that has a cerebral aneurysm may experience excruciating headaches due to a bulge in an artery. This bulge can form anywhere on the brain and most commonly is called the 'berry' aneurysm, "it has a well-defined stem and berry-like outpouching of the medial layer of the arterial wall." (Mower-Wade) For years neurosurgeons have been using a procedure called clipping to remove the aneurysm; however a new method of treatment for aneurysms has recently been introduced. Coiling is this new method of treatment, which to patients "seems safer and would spare a major operation."(To Clip or to Coil) Patients and doctors are now faced with a difficult decision when it comes to deciding which method of treatment to pursue.When a person is diagnosed with a cerebral aneurysm, their choices are limited. Some may choose to do nothing about it and hope that the cerebral aneurysm does not burst or begin to leak. However, according to the Nursing article, a patient should undergo surgery as soon as possible to remove the aneurysm. A ruptured cerebral aneurysm is a "life threatening-condition" that "affects 25 to 30 thousand people in the United States each year. One out of every 10 dies before reaching the emergency department. Half of those who survive die of complications; only about a fourth of those who recover have mild deficits or none at all." (Nursing)Even today scientists and doctors are uncertain about the cause of cerebral aneurysms and why they rupture. The Nursing article provides a hypothesis; that "extrinsic, congenital, and genetic factors may be involved." They state that "because the incidence increases with aging and aneurysms frequently develop at sites where homodynamic stresses are greatest, they may be acquired lesions." In the article To Clip or to Coil the genetics reasoning is reinstated. They provide an example of a woman who, without showing symptoms, developed a cerebral aneurysm like her twin sister who recently died of a rupture.The standard form of treatment for cerebral aneurysm is called Clipping. According To Clip or to Coil it was "first performed in 1937, in which a neurosurgeon drills a hole in the skull and puts a clip (usually titanium) around the blister-like pouch." The Nursing article goes on to describe the procedure, saying that "a metal clip is placed on the neck of the aneurysm to prevent further blood flow to the aneurysm." The Nursing article further states that "rebleeding is the most lethal...

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