An aneurysm forms in a weak area of a blood vessel’s wall; they can manifest in a number of different body parts including your brain, neck, kidneys, aorta, spleen, and intestines. And warning signs to look out for depend on the location of the aneurysm in question. There are a variety of tests that can be performed to catch them, as well as a number of risk factors that we can and can’t control. Risk factors within our jurisdiction include diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure. Ones that are out of our control include gender, age, family history, and genetic factors.
But what happens if your doctor does catch an aneurysm before it escalates?
Sometimes, a specialist will carry out a procedure known as an endovascular embolization, or endovascular coiling. This minimally invasive procedure involves treating an aneurysm by blocking blood flow into it. These are typically performed on cerebral (brain) aneurysms that are at risk of rupturing, though there may be another reason for your healthcare provider to recommend having an aneurysm coiled.
To carry out the procedure, a specialist inserts a long, thin tube called a catheter into an artery in your groin. It is then inserted all the way up your artery–with the guiding help of an X-ray–until it reaches the affected brain artery, where the coil is finally deployed. The coil insert consists of soft, platinum metal, and is in the shape of a spring. The coils are thin and small, and range in size from less than the width of a strange of hair to about twice the width of a strand of hair.
Depending on which Ezra MRI you sign up for, an Ezra scan can screen your body for aneurysms in multiple regions, including your brain, abdomen, and pelvis. If you’d like to learn more about our screening options, you may do so here.