Centers of Excellence

Brain and Spine Institute

Find a Doctor Make an Appointment

Aneurysm Clipping

Aneurysm Clipping is a surgical procedure performed to treat or prevent an aneurysm rupture (bleed) into the brain. An aneurysm is a balloon-like bulge in the wall of an artery that becomes thinner and weaker over time. When this happens the aneurysm can rupture, releasing blood into the surrounding tissue of the brain--also called a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) or hemorrhagic stroke. To help prevent or stop the bleeding of a ruptured aneurysm a neurosurgeon may place a tiny clip across the neck of the aneu

What is aneurysm clipping?

The goal of surgical clipping is to isolate an aneurysm from the normal circulation without blocking off any small perforating arteries nearby. Under general anesthesia, an opening is made in the skull, called a craniotomy. The brain is gently retracted to locate the aneurysm. A small clip is placed across the base, or neck, of the aneurysm to block the normal blood flow from entering. The clip works like a tiny coil-spring clothespin, in which the blades of the clip remain tightly closed until pressure is applied to open the blades. Clips are made of titanium and remain on the artery permanently.

Who is a candidate?

The choice of aneurysm treatment (observation, surgical clipping or bypass, or endovascular coiling) must be weighed against the risk of rupture and the overall health of the patient. Because clipping involves the use of anesthesia and surgically entering the skull, patients with other health conditions or who are in poor health may be treated with observation or coiling.