Flow diversion therapy

What is the flow diversion procedure like?

While your doctor is your primary resource for diagnosis and care, this page will give you more information about your condition and treatment options. Here’s what you can expect before, during, and after aneurysm flow diversion treatment with the Pipeline™ embolization device.

Talk to your doctor to decide which treatment option may be best for you. Treatment with this device is prescribed by your physician, and the procedure described below may vary from doctor to doctor. This treatment is not for everyone. Your physician should discuss all potential benefits and risks with you. Although many patients benefit from the use of this treatments, results may vary.


First, the doctor will perform a series of exams to fully assess the size, shape, and location of the brain aneurysm. Exams and procedures generally include diagnostic imaging, medical history review, physical examination, and blood tests.

The doctor will also prescribe some medications before the procedure. These may include:

  • Taking dual antiplatelet and/or anticoagulation therapy such as aspirin and clopidogrel4
  • Possible additional medications depending on your general health and other medications you may be taking

During procedure

The procedure may be done under local or general anesthesia. It is important to remain still for long periods of time, so general anesthesia is usually preferred. However, your doctor will determine the best and safest method for the procedure.

The Pipeline™ device procedure consists of accessing the aneurysm via an artery in your groin using access devices such as guidewires or micro catheters to deliver the Pipeline™ device.

During the procedure, the Pipeline™ device is implanted across the aneurysm neck, which can divert blood flow and may allow the diseased vessel to heal. Before treatment, blood flows freely into the aneurysm. Immediately after treatment with Pipeline™ Flex, blood flow into the aneurysm slows. Over time, blood may no longer flow into the aneurysm. As the body’s natural healing process works with the Pipeline™ device, the aneurysm may shrink.1,2,3

After placing the implant, the physician will remove the access devices and close the access site. Your physician will use multi-dimensional neurologic imaging to ensure the device is properly placed.


After the brain aneurysm treatment is complete, it’s time to rest in a recovery room. It’s not uncommon to experience some pain and tenderness in the groin area where the micro catheter was inserted into your artery for treatment access.

For a full list of symptoms that may occur post procedure, please consult your doctor or the safety and warnings page. Your doctor will prescribe medications after the procedure and provide specific instructions for recovery.

It is very important to carefully follow the directions and medications prescribed by your doctor. Please take and keep the MRI card your doctor provides — it explains how the Pipeline™ Flex device will behave under different medical scans. You should keep this card available at all times.

Pipeline™shield brochure

Download brochure

A young female nurse assists a woman lying in a hospital bed

MRI card

The MRI card describes how your device will behave under different medical scans.

Download card


M002318CDOC2_B-Pipeline Flex with Shield Technology instructions for use.


Szikora I, Marosfoi M, Salomváry B, Berentei Z, Gubucz I. Resolution of mass effect and compression symptoms following endoluminal flow diversion for the treatment of intracranial aneurysms. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol 2013;34:935-9.


Internal Report TR-NV11534/TR-NV11121. Rev. A