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Microvascular Occlusion

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by Neff DM
 

Definition

Microvascular occlusion clamps off the artery leading to an aneurysm. This prevents bleeding and rupture. Sometimes a bypass procedure is done as well, rerouting blood vessels to healthy areas of the brain. A portion of the skull is removed (called a craniotomy) and restored during this complex, open surgery.
 

What to Expect

Prior to Procedure (Non-emergency Surgery)

Your appointment before the surgery may include:
  • Physical exam, blood and imaging tests
  • Discussion of allergies
  • Discussion of medications you are taking, including over-the-counter and herbal supplements
  • Discussion of recent illness or other conditions
  • Discussion of risks and benefits of treatment options
Before your procedure:
  • Imaging tests (ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI scan) may be done. Bring paperwork and scans to the hospital as directed.
  • Arrange for a ride home.
  • No food or drink after midnight the night before the procedure.
  • Discuss your medications with your doctor. You may be asked to stop taking certain medications before your procedure.
Women should let their doctor know if they are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

Anesthesia

General anesthesia will be used. It will block any pain and keep you asleep through the surgery.

Description of the Procedure

The nurses and doctors will connect you to monitors to watch your blood pressure, heart rate, and pulse during the procedure. A catheter will be inserted to collect urine.
An IV will be placed in your arm for sedation and anesthesia. The nurse will shave an area of your head.
The doctor will perform a craniotomy, removing a small section of the skull to access the brain. X-rays and microscopic viewing will help the doctor find the artery leading to the aneurysm. The doctor will clamp off the artery. A bypass procedure (re-routing blood vessels toward healthy areas of the brain) may also be done.
The section of skull is replaced and the scalp is stitched back into place.

Immediately After Procedure

When the procedure is done, the catheter and IV will be removed. You will need to lie still for 6-8 hours or more. You will stay in the ICU, often for a day. Your blood pressure and other vitals will be monitored closely. You may be given medication for pain or other symptoms.

How Long Will It Take?

3-5 hours or more

How Much Will It Hurt?

Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medications.

Average Hospital Stay

This complex procedure is done in a hospital setting. The usual length of stay is 4-6 days. Your doctor may choose to keep you longer if complications arise.

Post-procedure Care

At the Hospital
  • You will rest for several hours in the ICU.
  • Nurses will monitor your vital signs.
Preventing Infection
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection, such as:
  • Washing their hands
  • Wearing gloves or masks
  • Keeping your incisions covered.
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chance of infection, such as:
  • Washing your hands often and reminding your healthcare providers to do the same
  • Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
  • Not allowing others to touch your incision
At Home
When you get home, you may have to adjust your activity level while you recover. This may take 3-6 weeks. Home care may include:
  • Resting when you need to
  • Caring for the wound
  • Physical or rehabilitative therapy
 

RESOURCES

The Brain Aneurysm Foundation
http://www.bafound.org

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
http://www.ninds.nih.gov

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Brain Injury Association of Canada
http://biac-aclc.ca

Heart and Stroke Foundation Canada
http://www.heartandstroke.ca

 

References


Cerebral aneurysm. American Association of Neurological Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.aans.org/en/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments/Cerebral%20Aneurysm.aspx. Updated August 2009. Accessed May 29, 2014.


Cowen J, Ziewacz J, Dimick J, et al. Use of endovascular coil embolization and surgical clip occlusion for cerebral artery aneurysms. J Neurosurg. 2007;107:530-535. Available at: http://thejns.org/doi/pdf/10.3171/JNS-07/09/0530. Accessed May 29, 2014.


Neff D. Brain aneurysm. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary. Updated May 2, 2014. Accessed May 29, 2014.


Treatment of brain aneurysms. The Aneurysm and AVM Foundation website. Available at: http://www.taafonline.org/ba%5Ftreatment.html#ba%5Fclipping. Accessed May 29, 2014.


Williams LN, Brown RD Jr. Management of unruptured aneurysms. Neurol Clin Pract. 2013;3(2):99-108.

 

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