Microsurgical Clipping | Neurology & Neurosurgery | Loyola Medicine

Microsurgical Clipping

Overview and Facts about Microsurgical Clipping

Microsurgical clipping is the most time-tested and durable treatment for cerebral aneurysms. It has a very low rate of recurrence and a low rate of complications. 

In this procedure, a neurovascular surgeon places a small titanium clip to stop blood flow into the aneurysm. The surgeon is able to confirm that blood is flowing appropriately inside the arteries and that it has stopped flowing into 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 specialists 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 Microsurgical Clipping

In this procedure, the patient is placed under general anesthesia. The cerebrovascular surgeon opens a small section in the skull to allow microsurgical access to the aneurysm. A titanium clip is then placed on the outside of the aneurysm to prevent circulating blood from going into it and the section of bone is replaced. The clip will remain in the patient’s body to prevent future bleeding or rupture.

Observation time in the hospital following the procedure lasts two to three days. Light activities can be resumed after two weeks at home, and the patient can usually return to work within three to four weeks.

Risks of Microsurgical Clipping

Microsurgical clipping is an established procedure with a low rate of complications. However, as with any surgery, there are several associated risks.

Potential risks of microsurgical clipping include:

  • Rupturing the aneurysm
  • Bleeding
  • Brain damage
  • Infection