Brain Aneurysm

A brain aneurysm, also called a cerebral aneurysm or intracranial aneurysm, is a weak spot on the wall of a blood vessel in the brain. Blood flowing past the weak spot puts pressure on it and causes it to bulge and swell, creating the aneurysm. If it ruptures and bleeds into the brain, the result can be a stroke (hemorrhagic stroke). Most brain aneurysms, however, don’t rupture or cause symptoms.

Why Choose UT Southwestern?

UT Southwestern Medical Center has among the most experienced group of neurosurgeons in evaluating and treating brain aneurysms in the United States – including providing effective minimally invasive approaches. We perform more pre-emptive surgeries to prevent aneurysm-induced stroke than any medical center in the region, having done more than 2,500 of these surgeries over the past decade.

Our expertise includes offering a comprehensive range of treatment options. Depending on your situation, we will work with you to determine an appropriate treatment strategy <link to 2.9.2 Treatments>. We have every option available for ruptured and unruptured aneurysm treatment, including:

  • Surgical clipping
  • Endovascular coiling
  • Endovascular flow diversion stents

After treatment, you’ll recover in our dedicated neurointensive care unit. We also offer neurorehabilitation for those who need physical, occupational, or speech therapy.

Symptoms

A brain aneurysm typically doesn't have symptoms until it leaks or ruptures, causing bleeding into the brain. When this occurs, the hallmark symptom is a sudden and severe headache – often described as “the worst headache you’ve ever experienced.” Even if you have a long history of headaches, this headache will be different. Other symptoms include neck pain and stiffness.

If a leak or rupture occurs, it is a life-threatening condition that requires prompt medical treatment.

With a ruptured brain aneurysm, you may also experience stroke symptoms, including:

  • Blurred or double vision
  • Confusion
  • Drooping eyelid
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seizure
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Stiff neck
  • Sudden numbness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body

A brain aneurysm that has not ruptured but is growing might push against blood vessels or other brain or nerve structures. This may result in headaches behind the eyes, double vision, new numbness, or walking difficulties. 

Our Services

If you are experiencing any symptoms for a brain aneurysm, call 911 or see your doctor immediately. Early detection of a brain aneurysm provides more options for treatment and better long-term outcomes.

If you have been diagnosed with an unruptured brain aneurysm, our team of specialists will see you for an appointment quickly. We will examine the MRI images you already have and will likely perform more diagnostic tests with our advanced imaging equipment. We aim to complete your imaging and consultation in the same day so you leave with an evaluation of your aneurysm and a discussion of your options.

We also have expertise in managing conditions related to brain aneurysms, such as high blood pressure and chronic tobacco use.

Request an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with a brain aneurysm specialist at UT Southwestern’s facilities in Dallas or to learn more about our services, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.