KU Hospital Doctors Use Rare Procedure To Save Newborn

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Jill Chadwick

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         Gage Weber was born with a rare condition called Vein of Galen malformation. It starves the brain of blood and puts tremendous strain on the heart. Most newborns with the condition die without treatment. The parents were told only two places in the country could perform the risky and rare procedure…and one of those places was The University of Kansas Hospital.                                                                                                                                                                                        Dr. Alan Reeves, an interventional radiologist at the hospital, led a team operating on Gage. Just a week after Gage was born, Dr. Reeves went in through the groin and snaked catheters up into brain vessels that are no bigger than a thread. They're delicate vessels that can easily tear. He placed 35 tiny metal coils to block blood flow to the abnormal vessels and create normal flow in the brain. But it wasn't enough. A day later, he placed 35 more. The strain on Gage's heart was finally relieved.

 Reeves says the effect of the condition on Gage's future development is still unknown, but 60 percent of babies with the condition have near-normal outcomes. Gage is Reeves’ youngest patient.

The video includes interviews with Gage Weber’s mom, Kelly Phillips, Dr. Alan Reeves, who describes the condition and what the team did, and Dr. Krishna Dummula, the neonatologist overseeing Gage’s care, who talks about the baby’s outcome and his future.