Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Physician (PCP) FAQs

What is a typical patient referral scenario for a brain aneurysm (from PCP to neurosurgeon)?
What are the risks and possible adverse outcomes of brain aneurysm treatment?
What diagnostic testing needs to be done before referring my patient to you?
What are the treatment options and possible outcomes?
What do new patients need to know about brain aneurysms? What are the most common questions patients have about brain aneurysms?
What is the rate of success?
What follow-up care is required?
What’s the latest technology at Swedish for treating brain aneurysms?
What is most critical for PCPs to know about Swedish when they are thinking about referring their patients who have a brain aneurysm?
What do you tell your brain aneurysm patients to reassure them and so they know what to expect?
How does the neurosurgeon coordinate with the patient’s referring physician?
What are some common keywords that patients may use when searching for brain aneurysm information online?
What are the long-term scenarios for patients after they’ve had treatment?
What are the advantages/benefits of sending my patient to Swedish for brain aneurysm treatment?

 

What is a typical patient referral scenario for a brain aneurysm (from PCP to neurosurgeon)?

Patients come to us from primary care and neurologists. As an example, a patient will see their primary care physician or their neurologist for headaches. Or they may see their PCP in a follow up examination after a car accident. Imaging, such as an MRI, is ordered and these patients are referred to us after discovering an incidentally found aneurysm.

What are the risks and possible adverse outcomes of brain aneurysm treatment?

Risks of surgical clipping include infection, cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) leak, and stroke. Endovascular treatment (coiling, stenting) risks include recurrence of the aneurysm in the future.

What diagnostic testing needs to be done before referring my patient to you?

Before a patient is referred to the Cerebrovascular Center, we request that the patient have a CTA (CT Angiogram) or an MRA (MR Angiogram).

What are the treatment options and possible outcomes?

Surgical clipping – cure
Coiling – long-term or permanent cure
Pipeline – long-term or permanent cure. Pipeline is a new treatment now available at Swedish.
Routine F/U with imaging – watch and wait – may need treatment in future, may never need treatment depending on size and location of aneurysm

What do new patients need to know about brain aneurysms? What are the most common questions patients have about brain aneurysms?

See our New Patient Information for a list of questions. There is also a series of short videos in which Dr. Newell answers common questions about brain aneurysm diagnosis and treatment.

Watch out for thunderclap headache

What is the rate of success?

We have a very high success rate for treatment of aneurysms.

What follow-up care is required?

Patients always receive follow up imaging after a procedure to ensure their treatment was successful. Depending on each patient’s specific treatment, follow up examinations by the treating neurosurgeon occur anywhere from two to six weeks after surgery. We will see them again between six months and a year post-procedure.

What’s the latest technology at Swedish for treating brain aneurysms?

The Pipeline device is the latest new device for treating aneurysms, in addition to the other methods proven for treatment – surgery, including clipping and bypass procedures, as well as endovascular coiling and stenting.

What is most critical for PCPs to know about Swedish when they are thinking about referring their patients who have a brain aneurysm?

Any patient with a known aneurysm is an appropriate referral to the Cerebrovascular Center. Even if an aneurysm is small, it can be monitored regularly over time to see if it needs treatment or not.

What do you tell your brain aneurysm patients to reassure them and so they know what to expect?

Most patients do extraordinarily well with treatment of aneurysms. Our team also provides a great deal of patient education to keep patients and family members informed about their condition and all possible treatment options. We have patient liaisons who can talk with them in the hospital, a clinic nurse that is available by phone to answer questions, and a monthly support group where patients can connect and share with one another.

How does the neurosurgeon coordinate with the patient’s referring physician?

The neurosurgeon loops back with the referring physician after treatment by sending notes about the case. The referring physician can always call and talk with Dr. Newell and his team with questions about their patient. We also have electronic medical records to provide ease of transferring notes and requested medical records.

What are some common keywords that patients may use when searching for brain aneurysm information online?

  • Aneurysm
  • Aneurism (both spellings are technically correct; aneurysm is more common)
  • Brain aneurysm
  • Cerebral aneurysm
  • Brain bleed
  • Artery
  • Arteries
  • Living with an aneurysm
  • Symptoms of an aneurysm
  • Diagnosing an aneurysm
  • Visual changes
  • Thunderclap headache
  • Worst headache of my life
  • Severe headache
  • Clipping
  • Coiling

What are the long-term scenarios for patients after they’ve had treatment?

Most patients have a healthy and normal active lifestyle after treatment. Some patients who have had a ruptured aneurysm may have longer recovery and rehabilitation needs.

What are the advantages/benefits of sending my patient to Swedish for brain aneurysm treatment?

The Swedish Cerebrovascular Center is the only center in the Pacific Northwest that offers comprehensive, coordinated care for patients with brain blood vessel disorders such as brain aneurysm and stroke.

Diagnosing and managing these disorders require highly skilled clinical specialists, rapid response to emergent cases, and the latest in diagnostic imaging technology. Our care team includes world-renowned neurosurgeons, neurologists, and neuroendovascular and radiosurgical specialists who evaluate and treat these complex conditions.

 

Contact Information

Swedish Cerebrovascular Center
550 17th Avenue
Suite 110
Seattle, WA 98122
Phone: 206-320-3470
Fax: 206-320-3471
Map & Directions

Newly Diagnosed?

Find out more about brain aneurysm treatment options, hear from a board certified surgeon and watch a video from a patient's perspective.

Learn More


Video Library

Patient Education: Brain Aneurysms

watch_cerebro_aside.jpg

What Is a Cerebral Aneurysm?

What Causes Cerebral Aneurysms?

Warning Signs and Symptoms of Aneurysms

What Are Aneurysm Treatments?

What Is Aneurysm Clipping?

What Is Aneurysm Coiling?

The Advantages of Choosing Swedish to Treat Aneurysms


CME Video Library



How you can help


Swedish is constantly working to ensure patients with debilitating neurological disorders have access to the best treatment options, the latest technology, and state-of-the-art facilities.

Learn more

 

Support for Cerebrovascular Patients


Have a question about brain aneurysm services at Swedish?
Want to be part of our Cerebrovascular Support Group? 

Email us or call the CerebrovascularSupport Line: 206-320-4985