SSM Health Medical Minute: A revolutionary non-surgical approach to treating aneurysms

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Surgeons at SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital are now using a revolutionary non-surgical approach to attack brain aneurysms.

"So, an aneurysm is a ballooning out of a wall of a blood vessel," said SLUCare and SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital Stroke Institute Director, Dr. Randall Edgell.

A ruptured aneurysm can lead to a stroke or death. Previous treatment for large aneurysms was long, difficult, open surgery with risks, and a long recovery. Dr. Edgell says a new safe and effective non-invasive method has been used in about 20 surgeries at SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital.

"We've had really good success with it. Patients have appreciated that recovery times have been very rapid," said Dr. Edgell.

The pipeline embolism device is delivered by catheter into the brain. A wire mesh is deployed inside the vessel and diverts blood flow away from the aneurysm.

"Over time it starts to heal the lining of the pipe or the blood vessel and grows on top of the pipeline device.  That walls it off from the aneurysm. The aneurysm then shrinks away somewhere between three and six months," said Dr. Edgell.

The SSM Health Medical Minute airs every Wednesday at 7:00pm on KPLR News 11 and at 9 pm on KTVI FOX 2.


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