Brain Aneurysms: New Device Destroys


DENVER, Colo. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – More than 6.7 million people in the U.S. have unruptured brain aneurysms right now. A brain aneurysm ruptures every 18 minutes. Most people don’t even know they have one until it’s too late. Surgery can be complicated, but now, a new device is helping to destroy aneurysms before they cause a stroke or even worse.

Judy Sadler feared the worst.

“I woke up one morning and had a really bad bloody nose. So, I took my blood pressure and it was over 200 and I thought, ‘Great. Am I gonna have a stroke? Am I gonna die?’,” Judy recalls.

An MRI revealed a brain aneurysm in the front part of her brain – luckily, it hadn’t ruptured.

Neurointerventional surgeon at Swedish Medical Center, Ian Kaminsky, MD explains, “When that happens, an aneurysm bleeding in the brain, about 10% of people die immediately. The next 20% will not survive the hospital stay. The next third of patients will have a severe disability and leaving about a third of people who could make it out of the hospital and return back to their life.”

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Brain aneurysms are a bulge coming off a weakened part of an artery. Surgery involves stents and coils to block off the aneurysm. Dr, Kaminsky is part of a nationwide clinical trial testing the contour neurovascular system to shut off the aneurysm without using stents or coils.

“It opens inside the aneurysm and blocks the flow from going into it because of how tight that mesh density is,” Dr. Kaminsky further explains.

It destroys the aneurysm. The procedure and recovery time are both shorter. Judy was back at work three days later.

“I try to do at least 4,000 steps a day. It’s helped me feel better, makes me feel young. I may be 72, but I feel like I’m 35,” Judy proudly says.

Dr. Kaminsky expects the clinical trial to last another few years before the move towards getting FDA-approval. They hope to study the contour device on 200 people across the country and are still enrolling patients.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Matt Goldschmidt, Videographer & Editor.

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REPORT:        MB #5348

BACKGROUND: An aneurysm is a bulge or ballooning in a blood vessel caused by a weakening in the vessel wall. It can occur in any blood vessel in the body but is particularly concerning when it happens in critical vessels such as those supplying blood to the brain (cerebral aneurysm) or the aorta (aortic aneurysm). There are three types of aneurysms: cerebral aneurysms, aortic aneurysms, and peripheral aneurysms. According to the CDC, there are over 25,000 deaths attributed to aneurysms in the United States annually. Two major risks of an aneurysm are smoking and high blood pressure.


DIAGNOSING: Symptoms are usually not present until the aneurysm actually ruptures, but some symptoms include, but are not limited to: circulation issues to other tissues, blood clots that could lead to strokes, severe chest pain, angina, and/or a sudden extreme headache. Doctors can diagnose an aneurysm with an MRI for unruptured ones and a CT scan for ruptured aneurysms. Doctors can determine the risk (whether high or low) of an aneurysm based on the symptoms, your medical history, your family’s medical history, and the size, shape and location of the aneurysm.


NEW TECHNOLOGY: There is a new device underway that is treating unruptured aneurysms called the Contour Neurovascular System. Neurointerventional surgeon Ian Kaminsky, MD at Swedish Medical Center was part of the team that is doing the clinical trials for the new device. According to Dr. Kaminsky, “The Contour Neurovascular System shuts off the aneurysm. It’s delivered by a catheter, like the traditional procedure, but without using stents or coils.”


Ian Kaminsky, MD, Neurointerventional surgeon at Swedish Medical Center)


Stephanie Sullivan

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Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Ian Kaminsky, MD, Neurointerventional surgeon

Read the entire Q&A