Brain Aneurysm: How the Changing Treatment Landscape Has Shaped Surgical Planning (Podcast)

Neuro Pathways podcast explores endovascular repair, hybrid approaches and more

Even in a potentially fatal condition like brain aneurysm, the small details of patient experience — like avoiding the really bad haircut required with traditional open surgical repair — can matter a lot. That’s one thing Cleveland Clinic neurosurgeon Mark Bain, MD, MS, has gleaned from his years of experience treating brain aneurysms before they rupture.

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“It’s funny, but the haircut is a big deal to patients,” he shares in a new episode of Cleveland Clinic’s Neuro Pathways podcast on recent and emerging developments in aneurysm care.

Avoiding the haircut is just one of many benefits of the endovascular approaches to aneurysm treatment that have come to dominate the field. In the podcast, Dr. Bain, Head of Cerebrovascular and Endovascular Neurosurgery, discusses these benefits with host Alex Rae-Grant, MD, and touches on a number of other topics, including:

  • New and emerging devices for endovascular aneurysm treatment
  • Considerations in planning endovascular and surgical repair
  • When neurologists should refer patients for aneurysm intervention
  • Which situations require hybrid open/endovascular approaches

Click the player below to listen to the podcast now, or read on below for a short edited excerpt of the episode, focusing on Dr. Bain’s initial reaction to 3D-printed aneurysm replicas for use in surgical planning. Check out more Neuro Pathways episodes at or wherever you get your podcasts.

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Excerpt from the podcast

Dr. Bain: One of the things we’ve recently started using is 3D printer technology. Based on some of the 3D angiograms we obtain, we get pictures that we can send to our radiologists and other colleagues who can then actually 3D-print a replica of the aneurysm. I knew nothing about 3D printing before this and I was absolutely amazed. The radiologist handed us a life-size model of a patient’s carotid artery and their brain aneurysm and I was astounded. I couldn’t believe, first of all, the size, because when we use a microscope it looks much bigger, and when we’re looking at it on our screens it looks huge because we’re magnifying so much. I was holding it in my hand, and it just struck me that this is what we’re dealing with, these small little aneurysms. You could see blood vessels that were coursing near the aneurysm, and it really allowed us to plan the procedure.