An aneurysm is a bulge or ballooning in a weakened blood vessel wall, which can potentially rupture and cause serious health problems or even be life-threatening. A hemorrhage, on the other hand, is the escape of blood from a ruptured blood vessel, which can occur in many parts of the body.
Risk factors for aneurysms and hemorrhages
There are several risk factors that may increase the likelihood of developing an aneurysm, including:
There are several risk factors that may increase the likelihood of a hemorrhage, which is the escape of blood from a ruptured blood vessel. These risk factors can vary depending on the location of the hemorrhage, but some common risk factors include:
What are the symptoms of an aneurysm?
The symptoms of an aneurysm can vary depending on the location and size of the bulge. However, some common symptoms include:
In some cases, an unruptured aneurysm may not cause any symptoms and may be discovered incidentally during a medical examination for an unrelated condition. If you experience any of these symptoms or have concerns about an aneurysm, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
What happens if an aneurysm ruptures?
If an aneurysm ruptures or "pops," it can cause bleeding in the affected area and can potentially be life-threatening. When the weakened blood vessel wall tears or ruptures, blood spills into the surrounding tissue, creating pressure and swelling in the area. This can damage nearby tissues and organs and cause a variety of symptoms such as sudden and severe headache, nausea and vomiting, stiff neck, loss of consciousness, and seizures. Emergency medical treatment is necessary if an aneurysm ruptures, and the outcome can depend on the size, location, and severity of the rupture, as well as the promptness and effectiveness of the medical response.
How to detect and treat aneurysms and hemorrhages
Using cerebral angiography, the neurovascular team at St. Luke’s Health has the capabilities to effectively detect aneurysms and the expertise to determine the best treatment plan for you.
St. Luke’s Health is the first hospital in Texas to treat patients using PulseRider, a novel neurovascular device that enables minimally invasive endovascular treatment of patients diagnosed with wide-necked bifurcation aneurysms, complex brain aneurysms originating on or near a vessel bifurcation at the base of the skull.
Additionally, our team specializes in microvascular brain surgery and minimally invasive endovascular neurosurgery options for treating aneurysms, including:
St. Luke’s Health neurosurgeons specialize in open microsurgery for the treatment of hemorrhages (ruptured blood vessels). Our team utilizes Transcranial Doppler Ultrasound for early detection of vasospasm in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage. We continuously monitor intracranial pressure to detect cerebral edema, swelling caused by excessive fluid in the brain, and optimize cerebral blood flow. For intracerebral hemorrhages, which often occur with stroke, our Comprehensive Stroke Centers offer the highest level of stroke care available.
Tips to make aneurysm recovery smoother
Recovering from an aneurysm can be a challenging process, but there are some things you can do to help make the recovery smoother. Here are some tips:
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