Saving people from brain aneurysms


LANSING, Mich. (WILX) — An estimated 30,000 people will suffer a brain aneurysm in 2022, roughly every 18 minutes a person is at risk of dying or having a stroke.

Treating an aneurysm before it ruptures is the only way to survive. Surgeons have a new way to save some of the most difficult-to-treat patients.

“I started going insane and dizzy. It felt like I had a migraine, but like a spoon sticking out,” said Daniel Reyes, who recently survived a brain aneurysm.

Catching it before it snaps is crucial.

Currently, doctors use surgical clipping, a tiny metal clip to stop blood flow, or endovascular coiling, which is a soft platinum wire that is coiled inside the aneurysm and seals the aneurysm. A Pipeline Flex embolization device patches the aneurysm from the inside, and now NECC is a clinical trial of a newly developed patch to treat hard-to-reach brain aneurysms.

“So keep in mind that they are coming to the streets. There’s a road to the left, right? The aneurysm is right in the middle of the fork, on top of the fork,” explained Ricardo Hanel, MD, PhD, a neurosurgeon at Baptist Health in Northeast Florida.

dr Hanel is the first physician in the US clinical trial to use the Contour neurovascular system to patch aneurysms that occur at the junction of arteries. The device is a nitinol mesh shaped like a wine glass or challis. The device cuts off the blood to a rupturing aneurysm.

“If you can find aneurysms before they bleed, you can prevent a potentially catastrophic stroke. It’s phenomenal when we find them before they bleed and we can safely treat them and eliminate their risk of stroke,” said Dr. Hanel.

Most brain aneurysms, if detected before rupture, are found on a CAT scan or during an MRI. Some patients may experience headaches or dizziness, but most don’t feel anything until it tears.

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