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Aneurysm Diagnosis and Treatment

Find Effective Treatment for Aneurysms at Raleigh Neurosurgical Clinic

A cerebral aneurysm, or a brain aneurysm, is a weak spot in the wall of an artery in the brain. This weak spot causes an outward building, or “ballooning”, that causes nearly 500,000 deaths worldwide each year.

Brain aneurysms can be emergent (ruptured) or stable. If your brain aneurysm has ruptured, our expert doctors at Raleigh Neurosurgical Clinic will work quickly to repair damage and reduce your risks of complications.

If your brain aneurysm is stable, our doctors will use the latest tools and techniques to determine the best course of action.

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Meet Our Providers

Dr. Andrey Belayev specializes in the treatment of neurovascular disorders, including the treatment and diagnosis of aneurysms. Dr. Belayev earned his medical degree from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine before completing his residency in neurosurgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Fluent in English, Russian, and medically fluent in Spanish, Dr. Belayev is able to attend to the unique language needs of his patients.

Dr. Brandon C Burnsed is one of only a handful of neurosurgeons in the country who has unique training in both endovascular treatments in addition to open vascular treatments. Dr. Burnsed attended Georgia Southern University on a baseball scholarship, then went on to earn his medical degree at Mercer University School of Medicine. He completed his neurosurgical training at the University of Mississippi and then completed a two-year endovascular and cerebrovascular fellowship at Semmes-Murphey Clinic in Memphis.

To meet the rest of our providers, check out our providers page.

Frequently Asked Questions

The treatment and diagnosis of aneurysms can raise many questions. Our team of medical professionals has answered the frequently asked questions below.

Questions include:

If you do not see your questions answered, or wish to discuss any concerns, feel free to call our office at 919-785-3400 or by filling out our contact form.

What Is a Brain Aneurysm?

A cerebral (brain) aneurysm is a weak spot in the wall of an artery in the brain that causes an outward bulging or “ballooning.” Brain aneurysms affect approximately 1 out of every 15 people in the United States. There are nearly 500,000 deaths worldwide each year caused by brain aneurysms.

What Are the Types of Brain Aneurysms?

Saccular: This is the most common type of aneurysm, accounting for 80 to 90 percent of all brain aneurysms. It is shaped like a berry and is more likely to rupture if not treated.

Fusiform: This type of aneurysm is less common and seldom ruptures.

Mycotic: This type is rare and results from infection. The infection weakens and damages the blood vessel, which increases the risk of rupturing.

What Causes Brain Aneurysms?

Causes of brain aneurysms include:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Family history of aneurysms
  • Age: They are most prevalent in people ages 50 to 60.
  • Gender: Brain aneurysms are more commonly found in women than men.
  • Traumatic head injury
  • Infection
  • Drug use, particularly cocaine

What Are the Symptoms of Brain Aneurysms?

Common symptoms include:

  • Pain above and behind the eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Dilated pupils
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Weakness and/or numbness
  • Nausea and vomiting

If an aneurysm ruptures, blood can leak into the subarachnoid space around the brain. This is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).

A ruptured aneurysm may quickly become life-threatening. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, please seek medical attention immediately.

How Is a Brain Aneurysm Diagnosed?

There are several methods that doctors use to detect aneurysms. They include:

  • Cerebral angiography: An angiogram is often used to determine the degree of narrowing of an artery and to detect the location and size of aneurysms and vascular malformations. A catheter is inserted into a major artery in the groin, dye is injected, and X-rays are taken.
  • Computed tomographic angiography (CTA): This test uses a combination of injected contrast material and CT scanning to help diagnose and evaluate aneurysms.
  • Computed tomography (CAT scan): This uses X-rays to develop 3-D images of the brain, and can capture images in slices from many different angles.
  • Transcranial Doppler ultrasound: A test that measures cerebrovascular function.
    Magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA): A test that evaluates blood vessels without ionizing radiation, using a powerful magnetic field and radio waves.

How Are Brain Aneurysms Treated?

If you have a brain aneurysm that needs to be surgically treated, Raleigh Neurosurgical Clinic can help. We offer the two most commonly used surgical treatments for cerebral aneurysms.

Surgical clipping: An incision is made on the skin on the top of the head. The surgeon then places a small metallic clip, or multiple clips, along the aneurysm. This prevents blood from entering the aneurysm sac in order to prevent future bleeding.

Endovascular coiling: This surgery uses the bloodstream to diagnose and treat brain aneurysms. The surgeon seals off the aneurysm and stops further bleeding from entering, which could increase the risk of it rupturing.

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