Aneurysm, Brain Health (cont.)

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Brain Aneurysm Follow-up

Most patients who have undergone a procedure to repair a brain aneurysm remain in the hospital for a few days so that their neurologic findings and vital signs, including blood pressure, can be monitored.

Depending upon the patient's needs, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy may be required. Some patients have no residual issues after the aneurysm repair while others can have significant loss of function.

Outpatient follow-up usually involves routine visits with the family physician or neurologist/neurosurgeon for physical examination and usually some type of noninvasive brain imaging to look for potential complications.

Complications of a ruptured brain aneurysm and subarachnoid hemorrhage include recurrent bleeding, cerebrovasospasm, and seizures.

Brain Aneurysm Prevention

Catastrophic bleeding from a brain aneurysm can be prevented if the initial sentinel bleed is recognized and treatment is administered before the large bleed occurs. Significant headaches should not be ignored and one should seek medical care immediately.

Patients who have relatives with subarachnoid bleed or aneurysms should discuss the possibility of noninvasive screening with their family physician. A CT scan and an MRI angiography of the brain are useful screening tests that can be done without having to thread catheters into the arteries of the neck. As technology advances, this type of imaging may one day replace standard angiography.

As with all blood vessel related illness, including heart disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease, it is important to minimize risks of blood vessel damage by controlling high blood pressure lifelong.

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