JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — As many as five million Americans have a brain aneurysm; a weakened, enlarged section of blood vessel in the brain, and because there are often no symptoms, many people don’t know they have them until it is too late. Researchers are now testing a minimally-invasive treatment that eliminates the deadly risk of the aneurysm bleeding or bursting.
Kristine Meyer is a busy mother of two. But two years ago, her doctor uncovered something nobody expected.
“The doctor at the time sent me for an MRI and it was in the MRI findings from that they found the aneurysm.” Meyer told Ivanhoe.
Scans showed the aneurysm was two and a half inches behind her nose and right eye.
Meyer continued, “I did not have a lot of options because of the location.”
Neurosurgeon Ricardo Hanel thought Kristine would be a good candidate for a minimally invasive procedure, being tested for the first time on small and medium hard-to-reach aneurysms. It’s called the Pipeline embolism device. Surgeons thread a tiny catheter through the groin or wrist.
“So through that tube I can feed the mesh and carefully push the mesh onto the contour of the vessel.” Ricardo Hanel, MD, PhD, a neurovascular surgeon at Baptist Health Jacksonville explained. (Read Full Interview)
The pipeline diverts blood flow away from the aneurysm, allowing the vessel to heal without an invasive brain surgery.
“So once you close the aneurysm you can nicely tell the patient, you’re cured.” Dr. Hanel stated.
“Not having that constant fear and worry is the most amazing thing.” Meyer said.
Kristine Meyer was home the day after the procedure and back to work within two weeks. Researchers tested 140 patients at 22 sites in the US and Canada to see if the Pipeline would be effective on small aneurysms. The study found a high rate of aneurysms were completely healed at the one-year follow-up.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Gabriella Battistiol, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor and Videographer.
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TOPIC: PIPELINE FOR ANEURYSM
REPORT: MB #4291
BACKGROUND: Aneurysms occur when part of an artery wall weakens, thus allowing it to balloon out or widen abnormally. Causes for aneurysms are sometimes unknown, but they can be congenital meaning the person is born with them, or they may occur as a result of injury or an aortic disease. Family history of aneurysms may increase a person’s risk, and other factors such as blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking may also increase risk. Most common forms include aortic; occurring in the major artery from the heart, cerebral which occurs in the brain, popliteal artery; occurs in the leg behind the knee, mesenteric artery; in the intestine, and finally splenic artery found in the spleen.
SYMPTOMS: Aneurysms can develop slowly over many years and may often have no symptoms. One occurring near the surface of the skin may be painful and include swelling with a visible throbbing mass. If one expands very rapidly or ruptures, symptoms may come on suddenly and include clammy skin, dizziness, pain, nausea and vomiting, shock, rapid heart rate, and low blood pressure.
TREATMENT: A healthcare provider can use a CT scan, angiogram, even an ultrasound to diagnose an aneurysm. A ruptured aneurysm is a medical emergency, and 9-1-1 or a local emergency number should be called to seek immediate medical attention. If you are diagnosed with an unruptured aneurysm you can work closely with your personal healthcare provider. Depending on its size and location, regular check-ups to monitor any changes may be required. Some may require surgery to reinforce the artery wall with a stent. In cases where the aneurysm has caused ballooning out of the side of the blood vessel, a coil procedure may be done to close off the area.
NEW TECHNOLOGY: Flow diversion therapy with the Pipeline Embolization Device which was previously only used in the treatment of larger aneurysms, has now shown proven high rates of success in treatment of small and medium-sized intracranial aneurysms. This is the first of it’s kind to address the flow diverter for small and medium wide-neck aneurysms. The PREMIER prospective trial treated 141 patients with unruptured, intracranial aneurysms successfully; these aneurysms were all 12mm or less. In a Pipeline procedure, no contact is made with the aneurysm. A mesh stent is placed into the artery at the site of the aneurysm through a catheter guided into the femoral artery through the groin. The mesh directs blood flow normally through the artery instead of into the aneurysm, allowing it to over time heal as blood no longer enters the aneurysm and the body’s natural healing process works.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS REPORT, PLEASE CONTACT:
Ricardo A Hanel
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