Severe headaches are the most common symptom of a ruptured aneurysm, but the symptoms can prevent themselves suddenly.
One local woman underwent emergency surgery at Aurora BayCare Medical Center for two aneurysms, and is working on managing stress as the holiday season approaches as a part of her recovery.
Lisa says the first sign of her aneurysms was the worst headache of her life.
“I thought, this is is, something’s wrong,” she said.
Lisa sought medical attention, and her condition was diagnosed.
“And she goes, ‘Well you have two brain aneurysms,’ and it’s like, well I’m glad somebody told me about this,” Lisa said. “My mother died of one so I was like, ‘Am I going to make it?'”
Lisa was rushed to Aurora BayCare Medical Center for emergency surgery with Dr. Gerald Eckardt.
“There’s two different ways that you can treat aneurysms,” Dr. Eckardt told Local 5, “through open surgery or through the artery again through a coiling procedure, where we work inside the vessel to close the aneurysm.”
The surgery successful, Lisa and Dr. Eckardt are now focused on preventing another aneurysm.
Factors that can lead to an aneurysm include smoking, genetics, and high blood pressure, which can be brought on by stress.
“If someone’s under a look of stress, then typically the blood pressure does raise, and certainly can promote aneurysm growth, but also aneurysm rupture,” Dr. Eckardt explained.
That could explain why hospitals typically see an uptick in ruptures around the holiday season.
“We would typically see more ruptured aneurysms toward the end of the year,” Dr. Eckardt said, “and we’d always seem to get busier at the end of the year for reasons we can’t explain.”
That in mind, Lisa is working on managing her stress levels as this holiday season approaches.
“If you can alleviate stress in your life, that’s a major factor,” she said. “That’s hard to do in this day and age, and I haven’t gotten that far yet.”
To prevent aneurysms, doctors also recommend not smoking and watching your blood pressure.