Radiology to Treat Cerebral Aneurysms - Coiling
neuroradiologists can treat aneurysms inside the brain
to prevent rupture of the aneurysm and subsequent brain
haemorrhage, which could cause stroke or death if the
aneurysm ruptures. Using imaging to guide him, the interventional
neuroradiologist makes a nick in the skin at the groin
and threads a catheter up the artery to the aneurysm.
He then places tiny coils at the site of the aneurysm
to provide mechanical occlusion of the weakened area,
so that pressure is no longer exerted on the aneurysm.
The catheter is withdrawn and the coils remain to provide
the occlusion. This minimally invasive interventional
technique offers less risk than surgical repair. Surgery
had been the primary treatment available until the platinum
coil device was introduced in 1995. This treatment is
also performed to treat haemorrhage if the aneurysm
Tiny platinum coils are threaded through a microcatheter
and pushed into the aneurysm. The coils are flexible
enough to conform to the aneurysm shape.
The aneurysm is filled in with coils, obstructing
the flow of blood into the aneurysm. Each coil is attached
to a delivery wire, allowing the physician to reposition
or withdraw the coil to ensure ideal placement. Once
properly positioned within the aneurysm, the coil is
detached from the delivery wire using an electrolytic
detachment process (electrical charge).
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