Is Percutaneous Coiling Safer Than Surgery?

January 24, 2024 0

As medical advancements continue to progress, treatment options for conditions such as cerebral aneurysms have expanded, offering patients alternatives beyond traditional surgical approaches. Percutaneous coiling, a minimally invasive procedure, has emerged as a popular choice for managing cerebral aneurysms. 

However, many ponder the question: Is percutaneous coiling safer than surgery? To understand this better, let’s delve into an in-depth analysis of the procedure, its efficacy, and safety compared to conventional surgical methods.

What Defines Cerebral Aneurysms?

Cerebral aneurysms, often called brain aneurysms, are weakened areas in the blood vessel walls within the brain. They can bulge or balloon out and pose a risk of rupturing, leading to a life-threatening condition called subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), which causes bleeding in the space surrounding the brain.

What is the Difference Between Traditional Surgery and Percutaneous Coiling?

Conventional surgical procedures for cerebral aneurysms involve open craniotomy, wherein a surgeon accesses the brain, identifies the aneurysm, and places a metal clip at the base of the aneurysm to stop blood flow into it. This method is effective but requires a major invasive procedure and longer recovery.

On the other hand, percutaneous coiling, also known as endovascular coiling or coil embolization, is a minimally invasive technique. During coiling, a catheter is inserted into an artery in the groin and navigated to the aneurysm site. Soft platinum coils are then deployed into the aneurysm, causing blood to clot inside, effectively sealing off the aneurysm from the artery. This approach often leads to a shorter recovery time and a reduced risk of surgical complications like infections.

As a neurosurgeon, Dr. Vikas Gupta states: “Traditional surgery utilizes invasive techniques involving larger incisions and prolonged recovery periods. Meanwhile, minimally invasive percutaneous coiling involves smaller incisions, leading to swifter recuperation and reduced risks, making it a more favorable option for certain medical conditions like aneurysms.”

What is the Safety Comparison?

a) Efficacy and Mortality Rates:

Recent studies have shown that the efficacy of percutaneous coiling is comparable to traditional surgery in preventing aneurysm rupture. According to global statistics, the mortality rates associated with both procedures have become quite similar, especially in cases where the aneurysm has not ruptured. The mortality rate for unruptured aneurysms after coiling ranges between 0% and 2.5%, while for traditional surgery, it falls between 0% and 3.8%.

b) Complication Rates:

Regarding complications, percutaneous coiling tends to have a lower incidence of surgical site infections, as it avoids the need for open craniotomy. However, a small risk of coil migration or aneurysm reopening might require additional treatments. The rate of complications post-coiling stands at around 10% to 15%, while for traditional surgery, it ranges between 8% and 12%.

c) Recovery and Quality of Life:

One significant advantage of coiling over surgery is the comparatively shorter recovery period. Patients who undergo percutaneous coiling typically experience shorter hospital stays, reduced post-procedural pain, and a quicker return to normal activities compared to those who have undergone open surgery.

Additionally, studies suggest that patients treated with percutaneous coiling often report better quality of life post-procedure. Factors such as reduced pain, quicker recovery, and a lower cognitive impairment rate contribute to a better quality of life after coiling.

d) Considerations and Patient Eligibility:

While coiling has shown promising results, not all aneurysms suit this treatment. Factors such as the aneurysm size, location, and shape play a crucial role in determining the feasibility of coiling. Some complex or large aneurysms might still require traditional surgery for optimal treatment.

“Choosing percutaneous coiling with Dr. Vikas Gupta was my best decision. His professionalism and the less invasive approach of coiling significantly eased my fears. I’m grateful for the quicker recovery and minimal disruption to my life post-procedure,” a happy patient of Dr.Gupta mentioned.

What About the Global Adoption and Future Trends?

Percutaneous coiling has gained considerable popularity globally as an alternative to traditional surgical methods. Coiling has become a preferred choice for managing cerebral aneurysms in regions with the necessary infrastructure and expertise. Continued advancements in technology and techniques are expected to refine coiling procedures further, making it an even safer and more effective treatment option.

How Much Does Aneurysm Coiling Surgery Cost in Top Indian Cities?

Below is the cost of aneurysm coiling surgery across top Indian cities. From Bangalore to Kolkata, the average prices for this critical medical procedure are as follows:

Aneurysm Coiling Surgery Cost in CityAverage Cost (Indian Rupees)Average Cost (USD)
Bangalore6,30,000 INR9,000 USD
Mumbai7,18,200 INR10,260 USD
New Delhi7,05,600 INR10,080 USD
Hyderabad6,67,800 INR9,540 USD
Chennai6,80,400 INR9,720 USD
Kolkata7,56,000 INR10,800 USD
Ahmedabad6,80,400 INR9,720 USD
Kochi7,56,000 INR10,800 USD
Lucknow6,80,400 INR9,720 USD
Chandigarh7,05,600 INR10,080 USD

Note: These costs may vary based on individual cases, hospital facilities, and additional medical requirements.


In conclusion, percutaneous coiling stands as a viable and often safer alternative to traditional surgery for managing cerebral aneurysms, especially in some instances. Its minimally invasive nature, shorter recovery times, and comparable efficacy make it an attractive option for many patients. However, individual cases may vary, and the choice between coiling and surgery should be made after thorough consultation with a medical professional, considering the specific characteristics of the aneurysm and the patient’s health condition.


  1. Is percutaneous coiling a painful procedure?

No, it’s typically performed under local anesthesia and is minimally uncomfortable.

  1. Are there any risks associated with coiling?

While generally safe, coiling may have complications like coil migration or aneurysm reopening, requiring further intervention.

  1. Can coiling prevent an aneurysm from rupturing?

Yes, coiling can effectively seal off an aneurysm, reducing the risk of it rupturing.

  1. How long does it take to recover from coiling?

Recovery time after coiling is usually shorter than traditional surgery, often allowing for a quicker return to daily activities.

  1. What factors determine eligibility for coiling?

Aneurysm size, location, and shape are crucial in determining whether a patient is suitable for coiling.

Read More : Does Embolization Offer a Long-Term Brain Solution?

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