New Device is Big Advancement in Brain Aneurysm Treatment

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Jill Chadwick

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         Debbie Greene has lived with an aneurysm in her brain for a long time. An aneurysm is a weak area in the artery wall that bulges out…if it ruptures, it could cause a stroke. Fixing it has always been a very complicated process for doctors, involving either removing part of the skull and operating directly on the artery, or going through an artery multiple times and placing stents around the aneurysm. But thanks to a newly-approved procedure offered at The University of Kansas Health System, there’s a much simpler and safer way to fix this potentially deadly problem.

Greene underwent a procedure using a device called the Woven EndoBridge (WEB), recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The WEB device is a sphere of woven wires that is inserted into an artery in the groin, then threaded up into the aneurysm. It forms to the shape of the aneurysm preventing blood flow into the aneurysm and allows healing of the vessel wall. The University of Kansas Health System is the first in the region to perform the procedure with this device.

In the video, Dr. Koji Ebersole, an endovascular neurosurgeon with The University of Kansas Health System, explains why this minimally invasive procedure is such a huge advance. He says other options like coils often require more than one coil and in many cases requires a stent and blood thinners. He says the WEB is a great advantage because it decreases the time inside the brain, making it safer for the patient. Interventional radiologist Dr. Alan Reeves believes that ultimately all aneurysms will be treated with endovascular, minimally invasive methods like the WEB. He says the biggest advantages are the shorter procedure time, fewer complications and much shorter hospital stay.

Also in the video, the patient, Debbie Greene. Interviewed both before and after her procedure, Greene talks about the problems she’s had because of her aneurysm, and why she’s so excited to undergo this new procedure. Afterward, she explains how great she feels and what a relief it is to no longer be worried her brain aneurysm might burst.

The video also shows the procedure being done in the operating room, and contains animation supplied by the device maker showing how it works.