Brain Aneurysm

A brain aneurysm (sometimes called a cerebral aneurysm) is an abnormal bulge or bubble in an artery in your brain. This bulge can happen when a blood vessel wall becomes weak or thin. Many aneurysms cause no symptoms until they begin to bleed or they grow large enough that they push on a nerve or the surrounding brain.

A ruptured brain aneurysm (also called a brain bleed or subarachnoid hemorrhage) requires immediate medical care. At Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Neuroscience Institute, you’ll get prompt, expert care. Our experienced neurosurgeons and neuro-interventionalists collaborate to use effective therapies to treat ruptured and unruptured brain aneurysms.

Brain aneurysm symptoms

An unruptured brain aneurysm may cause no symptoms at all. However, because a ruptured brain aneurysm can be life-threatening, seek immediate medical care if you believe you or a loved one may have a brain aneurysm.

Symptoms of a ruptured (or burst) brain aneurysm include sudden:

  • Severe headache or neck pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Problems seeing, speaking, or thinking clearly
  • Loss of consciousness

Get expert brain aneurysm treatment at AHN

At AHN, physicians consider multiple factors, including the location and characteristics of an aneurysm, before developing a personalized treatment plan for you. Learn more about AHN’s system of cerebrovascular and stroke care.

The right treatment for a brain aneurysm also depends on what risk the aneurysm poses. If an aneurysm is unlikely to burst and causes no symptoms, physicians may decide to monitor you before recommending treatment.

Surgery or embolization can treat ruptured aneurysms or any unruptured aneurysms that doctors deem a danger to your health. Before determining the right treatment for you, we consider the specifics of the condition as well as your overall health and circumstances.

Our neurosurgeons and neuro-interventionalists have years of experience performing the latest procedures to treat many different types of brain aneurysms. These treatments include:

  • Microsurgical clipping: Physicians perform a craniotomy, a specialized surgery where doctors remove part of the skull to access the brain. We use tiny tools to clip an aneurysm off from the rest of the blood vessel, stopping an aneurysm from rupturing.
  • Coil embolization: Using a minimally invasive approach, physicians insert small platinum coils to seal off an aneurysm. A catheter delivers the coils to the precise location, so there is no head incision.
  • Flow diverters and stents: Physicians use a specialized stent to cover the aneurysm and redirect blood flow away from the aneurysm. A catheter delivers this stent through a small incision in the groin.
  • PulseRider® Aneurysm Neck Reconstruction Device: physicians are leading the way in treating brain aneurysms with this innovative device.

Contact us

To schedule an appointment or learn more about AHN neuroscience services, call (412) 359-6200.

If you're an existing patient, you can also call (412) DOCTORS (412) 362-8677 in Pittsburgh or request an appointment with AHN neuroscience services.