SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire)— It’s called a silent killer. It can strike without warning and cause sudden death. In fact, complications from ruptured aneurysms kill more than 25,000 people in the U.S. each year. Now, doctors are using the same technology in your smartphone to help guide them in the O.R. to treat aneurysms and save more lives. 3D Aneurysm repair
Patient Michael Renner recalled, “We are worried this thing could blow.”
Fear. That’s what Michael Renner and his wife felt when he was diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
“It was life or death,” shared Michael’s wife, Elaine Kenny Renner
The walls of his artery weakened, creating a balloon- like bulge in the part of the aorta that runs through the abdomen.
“Eventually it could rupture,” warned Mahmoud Malas, MD, MHS, RPVI, FACS, professor in residence and vice chair of surgery for clinical research and chief, division vascular and endovascular surgery at University of California San Diego Health System.
Just 20 percent of patients survive. But if caught early, a rupture can be prevented.
“We put wires and catheters that allow us to fix the aneurysm from the inside,” explained Dr. Malas.
Getting the graft is place can be difficult. Dr. Malas is now using the same technology in your smartphone to create personalized real-time maps that help him navigate during surgery.
“It uses like facial recognition like on the phone and creates a 3D reconstruction and overlay it right there in the operating room,” Dr. Malas illustrated.
A CT scan taken before surgery is combined with an x-ray taken during surgery creating that 3D model that shows where the grafts need to go.
“We can directly go in and get into the vessels much faster. Think of it as a GPS that guides you to navigate through the patient anatomy to get into these vessels,” elaborated Dr. Malas.
Half the amount of dye and radiation is used. Surgery time is cut by half. As for Michael, doctors were able to graft his aneurysm before it caused any problems.
“Basically, it’s a new lease on life,” Elaine affirmed.
He and Elaine are ready to get on with life with their grandkids.
Up to 25 percent of aneurysms occur in patients who have a family history of them. There is also a very strong link to smoking. Smoking also causes the aneurysm to grow faster than non-smokers. So, people over the age of 65, who have a family history and smoke should ask their doctor to be screened with an ultrasound for aneurysms.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Executive Producer; Marsha Lewis, Field Producer; Rusty Reed, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.
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TOPIC: 3D ANEURYSM REPAIR FROM SMARTPHONES
REPORT: MB #4765
BACKGROUND: A weak bulging area in an artery in the brain is called a brain aneurysm. It’s like a thin balloon or weak spot on a tire’s inner tube, and this is what causes the risk for rupturing. When it ruptures, blood spills into the space between the skull and the brain, causing a stroke. An estimated 6.5 million people in the United States have an unruptured brain aneurysm, and in about 30,000 people, the aneurysm ruptures each year. Women over the age of 55 have a higher risk of rupture than men. Ruptured brain aneurysms are fatal in about 50% of cases, while those who survive, about 66% suffer some permanent neurological deficit.
CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS: Weak blood vessels can be an inherited trait for some people, which may lead to the development of an aneurysm. It is rare to see aneurysms in children. Most aneurysms develop as a result of wear and tear on the arteries throughout a person’s lifetime. Occasionally, severe head trauma or infection may lead to one developing. There are several risk factors that contribute to the formation of aneurysms. Two of the most significant are ones that can be controlled like cigarette smoking and high blood pressure. Treatment options for aneurysms include open surgery, or clipping; endovascular therapy (coils, stents, flow diversion device) or no treatment but rather observation, with control of risk factors and possible repeat imaging.
NEW 3D TECHNOLOGY: Up to 25% of patients who undergo aneurysm surgery end up experiencing renal problems caused by contrast dyes needed to pinpoint the locations of major vessels originating near or from the life-threatening bulges. A new imaging technology that joins artificial intelligence and machine learning to reduce the need for contrast agents is now being used. This technology is also reducing the patient’s time in surgery and potential for post-operative kidney complications. “It allows me to fix aneurysms that were very difficult to fix before, and I can do it knowing that I’m reducing my radiation and contrast volume to my patients,” said Mahmoud Malas, MD, chief of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery at UC San Diego Health. The technology builds a 3D model of the patient’s aneurysm using a pre-operative CT scan. On the day of surgery, surgeons take a real-time image of the patient’s body with two bone landmarks within the CT scan. Then, the data is fused with the pre-operative image to form a 3D reconstruction of the image which the surgeon can use in the operating room as a guide.
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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA
UC SAN DIEGO HEALTH SCIENCES
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