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Recovery After Brain Aneurysm Coiling: How Long Does It Take?

Medically reviewed by Nicole Aliling, MD · Neurology · Centre Médicale Internationale

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Jun 10, 2021

    Recovery After Brain Aneurysm Coiling: How Long Does It Take?

    One of the most common methods for treating an aneurysm is brain aneurysm coiling. It’s an effective way of making sure aneurysms don’t burst, and it can also help prevent a ruptured aneurysm from continuously bleeding.

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    What is Brain Aneurysm Coiling?

    Brain aneurysm coiling is a common procedure used to treat aneurysms. It is a relatively new process that was only introduced in the ’90s.

    Prior to this, clipping, which utilizes clips to cut off blood flow, was the common procedure.

    It is also a minimally invasive procedure. What this means is that it doesn’t require opening up the patient’s skull to treat the aneurysm.

    However, the process involves using coils made of platinum to effectively block the flow of blood, and also causes the blood to clot. This prevents the aneurysm from rupturing, and also stops any bleeding.

    It is important to use platinum coils, because platinum is a nonreactive metal. This means that it won’t corrode or rust if placed inside the body.

    For this procedure, surgeons use a very small catheter, and they run it up an artery in the groin, or sometimes in the arm. Surgeons use fluoroscopy, or a special type of x-ray, to guide the catheter up the person’s artery. The surgeon carefully maneuvers the catheter through the artery up to the patient’s brain, where the aneurysm is located.

    Once there, the surgeon uses an even smaller catheter that has the coils attached to it. Once the surgeon is sure that the catheter is in the aneurysm, the coils are stuffed inside. Depending on how large the aneurysm is, more than one coil might be needed.

    This procedure has a very positive success rate, and most patients don’t encounter problems after coiling. It is possible for a coiling procedure to fail, but this is a rare occurrence.

    Brain Aneurysm Treatment and Recovery: Important Information

    Recovery After Brain Aneurysm Coiling

    Recovery time after brain aneurysm coiling depends on a number of things. This includes whether or not the aneurysm has ruptured and the patient’s overall health.

    Since coiling is minimally invasive, recovery is much faster than other procedures.

    Patients without a ruptured aneurysm can sometimes go home the next day, after spending the night in the ICU. But for patients with a ruptured aneurysm, patients can remain in the ICU for two to four weeks.

    What Should Patients Do After Surgery?

    There are some important things that patients need to remember after having brain aneurysm coiling.

    These can help boost their recovery, as well as ensure that the procedure will be successful. Here are some of these reminders:

    Physical activity

    Right after the procedure, patients are advised to avoid any strenuous physical activity for at least 3 days. This also includes walking up the stairs.

    However, standing up, walking around, and doing light activities around the home should be fine. Driving should also be avoided unless cleared by the surgeon who performed the procedure.


    Patients are advised to not drink any alcohol, as it thins the blood and can cause bleeding

    In terms of food, patients can go back to eating their usual diet within a few days. However, it would be a good idea to focus on eating more fruits and vegetables. Low-fat foods are also advised for patients recovering from brain aneurysm coiling.


    Patients who have an aneurysm might be advised to not take some of their medications just yet. These typically include blood-thinning medications such as aspirin, because these can interfere with the recovery process.

    Be sure to talk about this with your doctor, and follow their advice closely.

    Emergency situations

    It’s normal to experience some pain and light bleeding after surgery, but excessive pain and continuous bleeding are not normal. If this happens, seek medical attention immediately.

    You should also do the same if you experience any symptoms of an aneurysm, or if you feel unwell.

    Learn more about Stroke and Aneurysms here. 


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Nicole Aliling, MD

    Neurology · Centre Médicale Internationale

    Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Jun 10, 2021

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