Stanford Hospital First with New Aneurysm Treatment

Catheter treatement is knows as the Pipeline.

Thursday, Nov 3, 2011  |  Updated 4:03 PM EDT
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Stanford Hospital Patient Information Posted Online

This is a brain aneurysm rendered in three dimensions. A new stent can be used to treat large aneurysms.

Every year 15 percent of all patients diagnosed with brain aneurysms learn even more devastating news than the diagnosis itself. They have aneurysms that are so large and wide they cannot be reliably treated using conventional methods of treatment.

Now those patients have new hope.

This week Stanford Hospital became the first hospital in Northern California qualified to offer the new Pipeline treatment to patients without restrictions.

The pipeline has become a lifeline because it’s a brand-new intracranial device, where large aneurysms are likely to occur. Dr. Michael Marks, chief of Stanford’s Interventional Neuroradiology Department, threaded a catheter through a small incision of his patient's groin.

That catheter helped carry the Pipeline to her brain. The Pipeline eliminates the need for coils to be put in the aneurysm.

The Pipeline’s netting is braided into a dense weave and its placed to precisely expand and cover the opening of the aneurysm. The braided walls diminish the flow of blood into the aneurysm, sealing it off while still allowing blood to flow freely through the healthy part of the artery.

The device won FDA approval after just a year’s use in Europe.

Dr. Marks says “ As we learn more, there may be additional applications for a device like this. But our focus right now is treating those patients that we’ve had no good treatment for.”

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