McLeod using a tiny metal spring to lower stroke risk
Using only a tiny metal spring, the medical experts at McLeod recently lowered a patient’s risk of stroke when they performed the area’s first advanced procedure for an unruptured brain aneurysm in an operating suite dedicated for this work. The McLeod Neurovascular Team completed their first coiling procedure for an unruptured brain aneurysm. The coiling, executed by Interventional Radiologist Dr. Chris Durst, was performed in the new dedicated Neurointerventional Bi-plane Suite at McLeod Regional Medical Center. “This is an exciting time for our Neurovascular Team,” said Dr. Timothy Hagen, McLeod Medical Director, Stroke and Neurology Services. “Brain aneurysms are a serious medical condition. If they rupture it could cause a serious stroke or even death. This technique can prevent rupturing and saves lives. We are glad to be able to offer this amazing life-saving procedure for our patients.” A brain aneurysm is a bulging area within the wall of an artery that supplies blood and oxygen to the brain. As the blood pressure in the artery pushes on this protruding spot the danger is that it can continue to balloon out with a risk of rupturing. If a brain aneurysm ruptures it causes bleeding into the surrounding brain tissue, which is called a hemorrhagic stroke. This bleeding can destroy or damage brain cells. The rupture of an aneurysm often occurs without warning and can very quickly turn into a life-threatening situation. Immediate emergency treatment is vital to reduce the risk of permanent, severe neurological damage or death. Endovascular Coiling is a procedure to treat aneurysms from inside the blood vessel. Small coils are inserted into the aneurysm through the arteries that run from the groin to the brain. The coils are made of soft platinum metal and shaped like a spring. They are very small and thin with the largest about twice the width of a human hair. These coils stop the blood from flowing into the aneurysm. Depending on the size of the aneurysm more than one coil may be needed to completely seal off the aneurysm. It is the technology of the Neurointerventional Bi-plane Suite that allows the physician to perform the coiling procedure and prevents them from having to perform open brain surgery. The Neurointerventional Bi-plane X-Ray Suite, used for the emergency treatment of stroke patients, is equipped with the most advanced medical imaging technologies available, including two rotating cameras, one on each side of the patient, to take images simultaneously. By producing images at the same time, it reduces the amount of contrast material needed and the time it takes to complete procedures. Bi-plane imagining is also used for such procedures as Thrombectomy, a type of minimally invasive surgery to remove a blood clot from a brain artery. The imaging system produces highly detailed three-dimensional views of blood vessels heading to the brain and deep within the brain. This technology allows doctors to follow the blood flow path to the exact location of the issue. “Large vessel ischemic clots causing ischemic strokes are best removed by Thrombectomy,” said Hagen. “Ischemic strokes are the most common type accounting for 87 percent of all strokes. “Last year, we treated nearly 1,000 stroke patients here at McLeod and had to send approximately 50 of them to medical centers across the state to receive a Thrombectomy. Now, with our Bi-plane X-Ray Suite staffed by a highly trained team, these patients can stay close to home and loved ones for their care,” added Hagen.