There are a TON of phrases you never want to hear at a doctor’s office, starting with: “I’m afraid that’s going to have to come off.”
But high up on the list is this one: “You’ve got an aneurysm in your brain.”
You like living on the edge? There’s nothing closer to the edge than knowing you’ve got a little bulge in the artery that could go POP at any time.
And when it does, you could be toast.
Well, friend, if you ever hear that phrase yourself, take a deep breath.
These aren’t delicate little balloons. Most of the low-risk aneurysms will never pop… and will never hurt you.
But the treatments?
Those are another story!
A new report finds that a common operation given to patients with a brain aneurysm not only doesn’t help… it can actually make things worse.
In fact, folks with a low-risk aneurysm that have less than a 1.7 percent chance of rupture who don’t get treated actually live LONGER and BETTER than folks who do!
Doing nothing can lead to two extra years of quality living when compared to patients who have a procedure called endovascular coiling — when a little mesh coil is slipped into the artery to block off the aneurysm so it stops filling with blood and no longer is a threat to rupture.
They even live between a year and a half and two years longer than folks who DON’T have surgery… but DO get regular tests and screenings, including MRI exams, to check on the aneurysm.
Sometimes, what you don’t know really CAN’T hurt you!
Of course, there IS something the treatment will give you that nothing else can — and that’s a little peace of mind.
It’s tough knowing the darned thing is there, right?
But here’s the catch: The treatment itself is risky — and, in 1 in 50 cases, it actually causes the very rupture you’re trying to event. Even when the rupture is fixed, the operation can lead to bleeding problems, infection, clots, and more.
And that’s not all.
Even if it’s a perfect procedure… even if it goes off without a hitch… even if you dance right out of the operating room feeling better than ever… you’re NOT out of the woods yet.
It turns out that the fix isn’t always a fix after all.
Docs don’t like to mention this, especially when they’re trying to sell you on a procedure, but that ugly old aneurysm can grow back.
So, you’re not really getting true peace of mind. You’re just swapping one kind of worry for another.
Of course, a high-risk aneurysm WILL need some work — so, never be afraid to get it when the stakes are that high.
But if you’ve got a low-risk aneurysm, you could be better off leaving it alone — so always get a second opinion.