Patients with brain aneurysms have many effective treatment options today, making it possible to prevent ruptures and safeguard their wellbeing. Among them, flow diversion offers positive outcomes for individuals with aneurysms that are difficult to treat with alternative methods. This Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved treatment has been in use in Europe since 2009 and the United States since 2011 and is available for patients throughout New Jersey and New York from the award-winning neurosurgeons of IGEA Brain, Spine & Orthopedics. In fact, our neurosurgeons were the first in New Jersey to use one of the latest forms of flow diversion known as the Surpass Evolve and have been using another version known as Pipeline since 2011.
Our bodies depend on arteries to carry oxygenated blood away from the heart to other organs and systems. When the walls of an artery weaken, a balloon-like pouch can occur in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some aneurysms remain intact for months or even years, while others may leak or rupture. Should an aneurysm burst, it may result in a hemorrhagic stroke that can lead to reduced cognitive and physical function or even death.
Aneurysms present in many shapes and sizes, and some may be more difficult to treat than others. If you’ve been diagnosed with an aneurysm, your neurosurgeon will conduct a comprehensive assessment to determine its size, shape, and location, as well as the most effective treatment. This may include:
- A detailed medical history
- Full physical examination
- Blood work
- Neurological testing
- Medical imaging
- Cerebral angiogram
In addition to these assessments, your physician will explain your condition and all available treatment options to help you find the right procedure.
Flow Diverter Embolization Procedure
Several treatments are currently available for patients with aneurysms, including microsurgical clipping, endovascular embolization, and vascular reconstruction. While these procedures are safe and effective, they may not be ideal for certain hard-to-treat aneurysms, including large, giant, and wide-necked variations. Flow diversion procedures have proven highly effective in resolving these aneurysms with a minimally invasive approach that reduces hospital stay and recovery time.
This neurosurgery is most often performed under general anesthesia, as the patient must remain immobile throughout treatment. On the day of your procedure, you can expect the following process:
1. Your neurosurgeon will access a vessel in the groin or wrist, allowing a catheter and microcatheter to enter a blood vessel there. The microcatheter will travel through the body to the affected artery, carrying a braided cylindrical mesh device.
2. The mesh device is applied to the artery where the aneurysm is located, stopping blood flow into the aneurysm at the site.
3. A clot is created to prevent rupture.
Benefits, Risks, and Side Effects of Flow Diversion
Flow diversion offers a minimally invasive alternative to open surgery, making it ideal for people who are not good candidates for more invasive procedures. In addition to preventing future ruptures, it may also reduce the size of the aneurysm over time. However, like all surgical procedures, there are risks and side effects. While unusual, the most common of these include:
- Arterial damage
- Irritation or other complications at the puncture site
- Blood clots and/or stroke
- Aneurysm rupture
Additionally, individuals who are allergic to certain metals should not undergo this procedure, as an allergic reaction may occur. Be sure to disclose your full medical history, including allergies, medications, and other conditions to your surgeon before treatment. He or she will help ensure flow diversion is safe for you and will answer any questions or concerns you may have to ensure peace of mind.
Are You a Good Candidate for Flow Diversion?
At IGEA Brain, Spine & Orthopedics, our compassionate, award-winning team of neurosurgeons has helped countless patients throughout NJ and NY overcome aneurysms with help from Flow Diversion Embolization procedures. To learn more about this procedure and other treatments for aneurysms, contact us today.