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About Coiling

Endovascular coiling is a procedure used to prevent cerebral aneurysms from bursting. An Aneurysm is an outpouching in an artery caused by weakness in the vessel wall. As the aneurysm grows, it may cause neurological symptoms such as headaches, vision loss, etc. Untreated cerebral aneurysms may rupture, resulting in hemorrhagic stroke. Hemorrhagic stroke has potentially devastating consequences such as severe functional disability, cognitive loss, or death.

Goal of Coiling

Endovascular coiling is used to exclude existing aneurysms from your brain’s arteries blood flow. By filling the affected area with tiny, soft coils, your neurosurgeon can essentially cut the aneurysms off from blood flow. This helps prevent future bleeding.

How Coiling Is Performed

Coiling is a minimally invasive procedure, but your doctor will most likely recommend general anesthesia to keep you immobile and prevent pain.

After you receive your anesthesia, your surgeon will make a small incision in your upper thigh’s artery. He or she will then thread a catheter through your artery until it reaches the aneurysm in your brain. Your doctor will inject a contrast dye and use an X-ray machine to guide the catheter to the affected area without damaging your artery.

Once your neurosurgeon reaches the aneurysm, he or she will thread a microcatheter to the same location. This makes it possible to insert small coils into the aneurysm. Coils are inserted one at a time. These coils compact to create a tiny metal ball that helps prevent blood flow from entering the aneurysm, thereby relieving the pressure pushing against the walls of the aneurysm. Your treating physician will determine the appropriate size and number of coils needed for a given aneurysm.

In aneurysms with larger openings from the artery (known as “wide-neck” aneurysms), your neurosurgeon may elect to use additional devices such as metal stents (a tiny hollow metal tube with holes in it that acts as a scaffold within the vessel) or a balloon.

Recovery Timeline for a Coiling Procedure

After you receive your coiling procedure, you will typically remain in the hospital for one to two days. During this time, nurses will monitor your progress to make sure you recover properly. They may also need to change bandages at the incision site.

Once released from the hospital, you need to avoid strenuous activities for at least seven days. It’s also wise to avoid driving during this time. You may shower, but do not submerge yourself in water.

Assuming that your incision heals properly, you can return to your regular schedule in about 7 days. If you notice any bleeding, swelling, discharge or other problems at the incision site, contact your doctor for advice. He or she may want to readmit you to the hospital for a few days to monitor your progress. The vast majority of people, however, recover easily from this procedure.

If you smoke, drink alcohol excessively or participate in other behaviors that increase the risk of getting an aneurysm, you may need to see a counselor about changing those unhealthy behaviors. Coiling can often correct aneurysms, but it’s important to lead a healthy lifestyle that helps prevent future complications. This part of your recovery may take several months or even years depending on your current state of health.

Why Choose Neurosurgeons of New Jersey?

Although coiling is a minimally invasive procedure, you still need to choose a neurosurgeon who has enough experience to perform it with the utmost expertise. Choosing a general neurosurgeon who only has minor experience with coiling and other brain surgeries may not be a wise decision based on the delicate nature of the brain. At Neurosurgeons of New Jersey, you will work with a neurosurgeon who specializes solely in coiling and cerebrovascular and endovascular treatments.

Many patients also choose Neurosurgeons of New Jersey because it is a convenient option for them. The practice has five offices throughout New Jersey as well as an office in New York City. No matter what part of the state you live in, you can find an office near you with a team ready to help. Our goal is to make finding and choosing the right surgeon easier for you without traveling long distances for procedures, consultations and follow-ups.

Our Coiling Specialists

Dr. Dorothea Altschul


Dr. Ahsan Sattar


Dr. Bree Chancellor