Arteries carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body, including the brain. The heart does not stop pumping. Over time, wear and tear on artery walls may lead to development of a weak spot, which begins to bulge out. This bulge is called an aneurysm. As this bulge enlarges, the integrity of the vessel walls may weaken to the point where they cannot handle the pressure of the heart's continual pumping of blood.
When an aneurysm ruptures, it can lead to severe pressure in the head, and subsequent stroke, coma, and/or death. Aneurysms can be treated before or after they rupture. The decision to treat depends on the characteristic size, shape, and location of the aneurysm, as well as the patient's individual risk factors. Treatment involves securing the aneurysm, either by placing a clip on the neck of the aneurysm, filling the aneurysm sac with coils, or diverting the flow with a stent.