A brain aneurysm is an abnormal bulge or ballooning in a weakened blood vessel in the brain. If the aneurysm grows to a certain size, it can burst, causing bleeding into the brain (called a subarachnoid hemorrhage).

A ruptured aneurysm requires immediate medical treatment, as it quickly becomes life-threatening. Treatment for an unruptured brain aneurysm may be appropriate in some cases and may prevent a rupture in the future.

Norton Neuroscience Institute offers the latest advanced treatments for aneurysms.

Brain Aneurysm Causes and Risk Factors

People are not born with brain aneurysms — they usually develop at some point in life.

Factors associated with increased risk for aneurysm formation or increased risk for bleeding from an aneurysm are:

  • Family history of brain aneurysms
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking

Brain Aneurysm Symptoms

The primary symptom of an aneurysm is sudden onset of what often is described as the worst headache of a person’s life. Other associated symptoms may include:

  • Blurred or double vision
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Stiff neck

Types of Brain Aneurysms

Ruptured aneurysm: A hole in the aneurysm wall from an initial bleed; the goal is to fix the aneurysm so it can’t bleed again.

Unruptured aneurysm: If an aneurysm is thought to be at relatively high risk for rupturing in the future (aneurysms bigger than 6 to 7 millimeters in diameter, aneurysms in certain locations, aneurysms in smokers or in those with family history of aneurysms), it can be treated before it ruptures.

Brain Aneurysm Treatment at Norton Neuroscience Institute

Norton Neuroscience Institute offers cutting-edge medical care for aneurysms.

The specialists at Norton Neuroscience Institute are leaders in the emerging field of endovascular neurosurgery, which allows the surgeon to treat many neurological conditions with minimally invasive technique.

Endovascular treatment often is the first treatment option for aneurysms. The procedure entails threading a small plastic catheter from the leg artery all the way into the arteries of the brain and into the aneurysm, using the following different types of techniques:

  • Aneurysm clipping
  • Aneurysm coiling
  • Pipeline embolization surgery

In some cases, traditional surgery is recommended over endovascular techniques.

Care That’s Focused on You

It’s part of Norton Neuroscience Institute’s goal to care for the whole person, not just the condition.

  • Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Centers offer ways to improve your access to care, provide valuable information on managing your disease and address your quality of life issues. The Norton Healthcare Foundation funds this important service, so patients don’t need to pay.
  • Dedicated patient navigators can help schedule follow-up appointments, coordinate prescription assistance, create customized diet plans and provide guidance on disability benefits, housing, financial and employment concerns and more.
  • Patients can access support groups, exercise classes and other educational events to connect with others and learn how to make the most of life while managing a neurological condition. 
  • Access an on-demand video library of educational content across a variety of condition-related topics is available.
  • We want to help prevent illness. Get help quitting smoking and learn the signs of stroke.
  • Communicate with your provider, manage appointments, refill prescriptions and more anytime from a computer or mobile device with a free Norton MyChart account.

A Louisville Leader in Neurological Care

More patients from Louisville and Southern Indiana seek their neurology and neurosurgery care from Norton Neuroscience Institute’s nationally recognized specialists than any other providers in the area.

Your Norton Neuroscience Institute medical provider has the expertise, experience, diagnostic tools and sophisticated treatments to provide care tailored to your needs.

  • More than 75 medical, surgical and research specialists are dedicated to providing innovative care to those with brain, spine and nervous system conditions.
  • Advanced, minimally invasive neurosurgery equipment can speed your recovery and minimize pain.
  • Multidisciplinary clinics provide easy access to care in one convenient appointment for your neurological condition, with specialists in oncology, cardiology, orthopedics and behavioral health.
  • Norton Healthcare’s four adult-service hospitals in Louisville are certified by DNV, recognizing excellence and expertise in stroke care.
    • Norton Brownsboro Hospital is recognized as a Comprehensive Stroke Center.
    • Norton Audubon Hospital and Norton Hospital are Primary Stroke Centers.
    • Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital is an Acute Stroke Ready Hospital.
  • Norton Neuroscience Institute is at the forefront of neuroscientific research. As investigators on numerous trials, our physicians contribute to groundbreaking studies and publications in peer-reviewed journals. Also, patients may be eligible to take part in these experimental treatments.
    Learn more about current neuroscience clinical trials and studies.
  • The American Heart Association Get With the Guidelines stroke care program has recognized all four of Norton Healthcare’s adult service-hospitals in Louisville for exceeding national averages in getting patients in the door and administering lifesaving treatment to restore blood flow to the brain.
  • Norton Neuroscience Institute’s multiple sclerosis (MS) program has been designated a Center for Comprehensive MS Care by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
  • The National Association of Epilepsy Centers has recognized Norton Neuroscience Institute as a Level 4 Epilepsy Center, providing the highest level of medical and surgical evaluation and treatment for patients with complex epilepsy.
  • Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center navigators help educate patients and their families about new diagnoses, available treatments and ways to manage their disease.
  • We are listed by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of 100 great neurosurgery and spine programs.

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