Aneurysm Clipping


This surgical procedure is performed to treat an aneurysm, a bulge in the wall of an artery, inside the skull. Aneurysms can often become so large that they rupture or leak. In this procedure, a small, metal clip is applied to the base of the aneurysm to prevent blood leakage.


In preparation for the procedure, the patient is anesthetized and all or a portion of the scalp may be shaved. The patient's head is secured to prevent movement.

Accessing the Aneurysm

The surgeon then creates a long, arched incision in the scalp above the aneurysm. The soft tissue is folded back to expose the skull. The surgeon drills one or more small holes into the skull and then saws between the holes to free a section of bone. This "skull flap" is removed and stored. The surgeon carefully opens the dura, the membrane that surrounds the brain, allowing access to the blood vessels of the brain. The surgeon uses instruments to carefully expose the aneurysm.

Clipping the Aneurysm

The artery is isolated from surrounding tissue and the clip is attached to the base of the aneurysm, blocking the flow of blood into the aneurysm.

End of Procedure

The skull flap may be put back into place and anchored with plates and screws. The skin flap is folded back and sealed with sutures or surgical staples.


Most patients who have had a craniotomy must remain in the ICU for at least a few days, and sometimes several days. The prognosis for recovery depends on the location and size of the aneurysm.