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A Journal on Neurosurgery

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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2016 March;60(1):83-94

language: English

Clipping techniques in cerebral aneurysm surgery

Nicola ACCIARRI 1, Giovanni TONIATO 2, Andreas RAABE 3, Giuseppe LANZINO 4

1 Department of Neurosurgery, IRCCS, Bellaria Hospital, Bologna, Italy; 2 Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital, Udine, Italy; 3 Clinic of Neurosurgery, Bern University Hospital, Bern, Switzerland; 4 Department of Neurological Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA


The history of cerebral aneurysm surgery owes a great tribute to the tenacity of pioneering neurosurgeons who designed and developed the clips used to close the aneurysms neck. However, until the beginning of the past century, surgery of complex and challenging aneurysms was impossible due to the lack of surgical microscope and commercially available sophisticated clips. The modern era of the spring clips began in the second half of last century. Until then, only malleable metal clips and other non-metallic materials were available for intracranial aneurysms. Indeed, the earliest clips were hazardous and difficult to handle. Several neurosurgeons put their effort in developing new clip models, based on their personal experience in the treatment of cerebral aneurysms. Finally, the introduction of the surgical microscope, together with the availability of more sophisticated clips, has allowed the treatment of complex and challenging aneurysms. However, today none of the new instruments or tools for surgical therapy of aneurysms could be used safely and effectively without keeping in mind the lessons on innovative surgical techniques provided by great neurovascular surgeons. Thanks to their legacy, we can now treat many types of aneurysms that had always been considered inoperable. In this article, we review the basic principles of surgical clipping and illustrate some more advanced techniques to be used for complex aneurysms.

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