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What is a craniotomy & clipping of anterior cerebral aneurysm?

A cerebral aneurysm is an abnormality and weakness in the wall of a blood vessel in the brain. This operation is performed to enable a titanium clip to be placed on the neck of the aneurysm to prevent it from bleeding.

A cut is made over the area where the brain needs to be opened. A segment of skull bone will be removed. A titanium clip is placed across the neck of the Aneurysm.

The skull bone is put back and is closed with metal plates and screws.

The cut closed with stitches or staples.

My Anaesthetic

This procedure will require a General Anaesthetic.

See About your Anaesthetic information sheet for information about the anaesthetic and the risks involved. If you have any concerns, talk these over with your doctor.

If you have not been given an information sheet, please ask for one.

What are the risks of this specific procedure?

There are some risks/complications with this procedure.

Common risks include:

  • Infection. This may need antibiotics and further treatment.
  • Minor pain, bruising and/or infection from IV cannula site. This may require treatment with antibiotics.
  • Bleeding. A return to the operating room for further surgery and a blood transfusion may be required if bleeding occurs. Bleeding is more common if you have been taking blood thinning drugs such as Warfarin, Aspirin, Clopidogrel (Plavix or Iscover) or Dipyridamole (Persantin or Asasantin).
  • A heart attack because of the strain on the heart.
  • Stroke or stroke like complications can occur which can cause weakness in the face, arms and legs. This could be temporary or permanent.
  • Injury to the brain, important nerves or blood vessels. This can lead to stroke or stroke like complications can occur which can cause weakness in the face, arms and legs. This could be temporary or permanent.
  • Memory disturbance or confusion. This could be temporary or permanent.
  • Fluid leakage from around the brain can occur after the operation. This may require further surgery.
  • Epilepsy which may require medication. This condition may be temporary or permanent.
  • The clipping of the aneurysm may not be technically possible. This will result in reduced protection from rupture of the aneurysm.
  • Loss of vision which may be temporary or permanent.
  • Meningitis. This would require further treatment.
  • Coma.
  • Death is possible due to this procedure.

Uncommon risks include:

  • Decrease in your normal body salt concentration. This may require admission to intensive care.
  • Small areas of the lung may collapse, increasing the risk of chest infection. This may need antibiotics and physiotherapy.
  • Increase risk in obese people of wound infection, chest infection, heart and lung complications, and thrombosis.
  • Clots in the leg (deep vein thrombosis or DVT) with pain and swelling. Rarely part of this clot may break off and go into the lungs.

  • royal-australasian-college-of-surgeons
  • flinders-medical-centre
  • cmc-vellore
  • calvary-adelaide-hospital
  • Neurosurgical Research Foundation