In the 1990s, coiling was introduced as a way of treating aneurysms without the need for open brain surgery (craniotomy).
During endovascular coiling, catheters are introduced at the groin into the major artery. These catheters become progressively smaller in size and navigated into the aneurysm with the help of a special Xray machine.
Once inside the aneurysm, small specially designed coils are inserted to pack the aneurysm to prevent blood flowing into it and therefore reduce the risk of bleeding.
These coils remain in the aneurysm and are not removed. They are also compatible with having MRIs.
The traditional way of repairing aneurysms has been by microsurgical clipping, and before the introduction of coiling, this was the only way in which aneurysms were repaired.
This procedure is performed via a craniotomy where a window of skull is lifted to gain access to the brain and aneurysm. During microsurgical clipping, a small specifically designed clip is placed across the neck of the aneurysm which seals it off from the blood circulation.
The modern aneurysm clips are compatible with having MRIs.
AVM stands for Arteriovenous Malformation.
An AVM is a tangle of abnormal and poorly formed blood vessels (arteries and veins). They have a higher rate of bleeding than normal vessels.
AVMs can occur anywhere in the body.
Brain AVMs are of special concern because of the damage they cause when they bleed.
They are very rare and occur in less than 1% of the general population.