Swedish Medical Center
January 06, 2021

Englewood, CO— News reports that prolific rapper and Beats co-founder Dr. Dre is recovering from a brain aneurysm he suffered earlier this month have cast a spotlight on this serious medical condition.

Approximately 30,000 Americans per year suffer a brain aneurysm rupture, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

What is a brain aneurysm?

“A brain aneurysm occurs when a blood vessel in the brain weakens to the point that it balloons out with blood,” Dr. Eric Arias, Swedish Medical Center neurosurgeon explains. “Because this area is weak and thin, the bulge is at a very high risk of rupturing. If this occurs, blood may enter the space between the skull and the brain — serious, life-threatening stroke called subarachnoid hemorrhage.”

Most patients with a brain aneurysm do not have any symptoms until the aneurysm ruptures. However, when the aneurysm ruptures, time is critical and it is important to call 9-1-1 immediately when these symptoms occur: 

  • Blurred or double vision
  • Confusion
  • Dilated pupils
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain above and behind the eye
  • Seizures
  • Sudden or severe headache
  • Weakness or numbness.  

Swedish Medical Center leads the way in neurological treatment

Swedish Medical Center ranks among the nation’s top neuroscience programs and was the first certified Comprehensive Stroke Center in the Rocky Mountain region accredited by the Joint Commission.

“At Swedish, we have a process that allows us to get prepared for a stroke patient before they arrive. We partner with the EMS team to give us a ‘stroke alert’ so we are assembled and ready to begin our treatment process the second the patient arrives,” Dr. Arias explains. “We are extremely efficient at moving patients through the necessary tests and treatments to save as much brain function as we can with the goal of returning them to a healthy, normal life as soon as possible.”

Treatments for ruptured brain aneurysms at Swedish include aneurysm coiling, in which an interventional neuroradiologist places a small coil inside the aneurysm to seal it off and strengthen the wall. The experts at Swedish also find much success with aneurysm clipping, a process in which a neurosurgeon inserts a clip into the neck of the aneurysm to seal off the blood flow.

“Patients who have life-threatening neurological illnesses at Swedish are cared for on a specialized neuro intensive care unit,” Dr. Arias details. “Here, neurosurgeons, neuro-hospitalists, neurointensivist, neurologists, interventional radiologists, general surgeons, trauma surgeons, pulmonary medicine physicians and internal medicine physicians work together to provide the very best treatment plan for the patient. The nursing and support teams also are specially trained for neuro intensive care.”

Because Swedish is a comprehensive stroke center, care begins before arrival and continues after discharge. With a unique stroke rehabilitation program in house as well as outpatient, Swedish patients receive support and care throughout recovery. Swedish also provides support groups and resources to help get patients back to their lives.

To learn more, visit us online.

Dr. Eric Arias is available as an expert for media interviews. Please contact Kara Hamersky at 303-817-5708 to schedule an interview.