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What size aneurysm requires surgery?

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Quick Answer

A brain aneurysm larger than 10mm might require surgery. Aneurysms of this size can cause pain and cause other symptoms to develop. Because brain surgery is risky and can lead to other complications, surgery is less likely to be performed for an aneurysm smaller than 10mm, according to WebMD.

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Brain aneurysms are weak areas in the blood vessels in or leading into the brain, and a rupture can result in hemorrhages in the brain, reports WebMD. A brain hemorrhage may cause stroke symptoms and might be life-threatening. Surgery is often performed to treat large aneurysms because they have a higher risk of rupturing. On the other hand, small aneurysms have a low risk of rupture so surgery can be postponed or avoided, according to WebMD.

Symptoms of a ruptured brain aneurysm include neck pain, seizures, nausea and a sudden headache. A person who experiences these symptoms should seek emergency health care or call 911 as soon as possible. Ruptured aneurysms are usually treated with embolization surgery or surgical clipping, states WebMD.

During embolization surgery, mesh or metal coils are placed inside the aneurysm to prevent future ruptures. During surgical clipping, doctors tie off the aneurysm from the brain's main blood supply with a small metal clip, explains WebMD.

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