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AVM coiling

Aneurysms and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), which are defects in the arteries of veins that can rupture and cause severe bleeding in the brain, can cause strokes.

An aneurysm, which is a bubble in the wall of an artery, can be deadly. Neurosurgeons can prevent an aneurysm rupture by clipping it, or using a coil to seal it off. AVMs can be treated similarly, depending on their location in the brain.

A minimally-invasive surgery for brain aneurysms is performed in a specially equipped operating room at Baptist Health Louisville. A single tiny incision is made in the thigh, with a micro catheter threaded into the patient's femoral artery.

Special X-ray equipment allows the surgeon to "see" the micro catheter and guide it through the arteries to the aneurysm. Once there, a tiny platinum coil is pushed through the catheter and stuffed into the aneurysm.

The coil, or coils, fills the aneurysm so blood can no longer circulate through it, reducing the likelihood of rupture and hemorrhagic stroke.