Division of Neuroradiology
Contact Information

Barbara Wilson
Diagnostic Imaging
The Ottawa Hospital
General Campus
Room S2, Box 232
501 Smyth Road
Ottawa, Ontario
K1H 8L6 Canada

Tel: 613-737-8571
Fax: 613-737-8830


What is an aneurysm?

An aneurysm is a weakening in the wall of a blood vessel. This results in the formation of a balloon like bulging in the wall. Why do I need treatment for my aneurysm? Depending on the clinical situation, there is a significant risk that an aneurysm may rupture and cause bleeding. It has been shown that cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol use increases the risk of aneurysm rupture. The role of high blood pressure is unclear, however, current evidence suggests there is a may be a risk. Persons with a family history of aneurysm rupture are also at an increased risk.

What is aneurysm coiling?

This procedure involves the use of a Guglielmi Detachable Coil (GDC) made of a fine platinum wire to fill the inside of the aneurysm thereby eliminating it from the circulation. A successful coiling will prevent future aneurysm rupture.

How is this procedure performed?

This procedure is performed in an angiography suite. Often, the patient is placed under general anaesthesia. Using sterile technique under X-ray (fluoroscopic) guidance, a fine catheter is threaded from an artery in the groin all the way to the inside of the aneurysm. Through this catheter the platinum wire coil is then inserted.

How do I prepare for the procedure?

You will have to have an empty stomach, just like before an operation. You may need to stay in hospital for a few days. Please let the radiology booking clerk know if you are allergic to radiographic dye. The procedure will be preceded by a visit to the clinic where you will be seen by the interventional neuroradiologist performing the procedure. Here, you will receive detailed information on how to prepare, such as do's and don'ts.

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Last updated: 2015.09.08