Endovascular Coiling | Neurology & Neurosurgery | Loyola Medicine

Endovascular Coiling

Overview and Facts about Endovascular Coiling

Endovascular coiling is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat a cerebral (brain) aneurysm. A cerebrovascular surgeon places titanium coils to seal the opening of the aneurysm using a catheter passed through the femoral artery (located in the groin).

This procedure is different from microsurgical clipping in that it treats the aneurysm from inside the blood vessel (as opposed to clipping it from the outside), allowing blood to flow freely through the surrounding arteries.

The coils remain permanently in the aneurysm.

The decision to treat or not treat an aneurysm is based on calculating the risk that an aneurysm may rupture during a patient’s lifetime. Factors used to determine the risk of rupture include:

  • Location: An aneurysm in the back of the brain is at higher risk for rupturing than an aneurysm at the front of the brain
  • The size and shape of the aneurysm
  • If the patient has a history of a previous aneurysm rupture
  • The patient’s age and overall health

At Loyola, our cerebrovascular surgeons are part of the clinically integrated neurosurgery team. We are dedicated to determining the best treatment for your symptoms, delivering the highest quality care that is customized to your healthcare plan.  

What to Expect with Endovascular Coiling

In this procedure, the cerebral aneurysm is treated from inside the blood vessel. General anesthesia or light sedation is used. The cerebrovascular surgeon inserts a small catheter through the femoral artery in the groin and threads it through the patient’s body into the aneurysm. Several tiny platinum “coils” are then used to fill the aneurysm from the inside to prevent blood from entering it. The catheter is then removed through the femoral artery.

Most patients who have this procedure are discharged from the hospital the next day. Light activity is recommended for three days to allow the incision in the femoral artery to heal.

The recovery from this procedure is quicker than microsurgical clipping, but the treatment usually does not last as long. With this treatment, you will be periodically screened to make sure the aneurysm does not recur.

Risks of Endovascular Coiling

Potential complications resulting from any surgery include infection, bleeding and reactions to anesthesia. Endovascular coiling has a low rate of complications. These may include:

  • Regrowth of the aneurysm
  • Blood clots
  • Rupture of the aneurysm
  • Narrowing or constriction of the artery (vasospasm)
  • Coil movement out of position