Treating Brain Aneurysms

Repairing neurological damage from aneurysm, stroke and other brain and spine vascular problems is more promising today thanks to diagnostic, imaging and treatment advances.

Brain Aneurysm ImagingIn clinic and case conferences, our team of experienced specialists works closely together to develop the best treatment plan, guided by diagnostic imaging, and based on several factors that include:
  • Patient age and health
  • Size, shape and location of the aneurysm
  • Family history of aneurysm

Treatments for Brain Aneurysm

Watchful Waiting

If an aneurysm has not ruptured, and it is very small (a few millimeters in size), doctors may recommend watchful waiting, or observation. Conservative management may be the best approach especially for those who are elderly or have other medical conditions that might increase the risks associated with treatment. Doctors may follow small aneurysms with regular imaging studies to monitor aneurysm growth and changes, and the development of any symptoms. Based on any changes, symptoms or patient preference, doctors may choose to treat the aneurysm.


For open surgical treatment of ruptured and unruptured aneurysms, microsurgical clipping is the typical treatment of choice. In rare instances, bypass procedures can be combined with occlusion (closing off) of the aneurysm.

Endovascular Treatment

An alternative to open surgery, endovascular means “within the blood vessel.” Endovascular treatment allows doctors to thread special catheters (tiny tubes) and work through tiny blood vessels in the brain without having to cut through the scalp and remove a section of the skull.

Physicians perform endovascular treatment for aneurysms and other brain and spine vascular problems in BIDMC’s arteriography suite. The suite features the latest imaging technologies, producing crystal clear images in minute detail of blood vessels and blood flow, and changes brought on by disease.