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New Method Helps Treat Brain Aneurysms

May 06, 2009
TheDenverChannel.com New Method Helps Treat Brain Aneurysms Local Doctor Using Coiling Method To Treat Aneurysms POSTED: 11:09 am MDT September 15, 2006 UPDATED: 4:58 pm MDT September 22, 2006 Many people have brain aneurysms without even knowing it. Often times these weak spots in a blood vessel do not cause any problems. However, if they start to bleed or rupture, the outcome can be fatal. Now some doctors in Colorado are using a method of treating brain aneurysms without having to open up the skull. Gloria Wadford-Nordyke loves spending time with her horse. A few months ago, however, she could have lost her life. After falling while training her horse, Wadford-Nordyke went to the hospital as a precaution. What doctors found was frightening. "It was found on an incidental CT scan that I had an aneurysm and it had been bleeding," Wadford-Nordyke said. The next morning Wadford-Nordyke was in surgery. Neurosurgeon Sanat Dixit at Lutheran Medical Center decided to do a minimally invasive procedure called aneurysm coiling. "It's basically a way to treat the aneurysm from inside the blood vessel to pack it off using these small, metal, detachable coils," Dixit said. "It's still brain surgery, but its brain surgery done through a different route." Through a small incision in the groin and using X-ray guidance, Dixit can send the coils up into the brain. Once in place, the tiny coils prevent the aneurysm from bleeding or rupturing. Before this technology, the only way to treat a brain aneurysm was with open brain surgery. "People tend to tolerate the procedure better than traditional brain operation," Dixit said. Wadford-Nordyke was up talking and walking a day after her surgery and is back riding her horse just two months later. With open brain surgery it would have taken her several months to recover. She said it is a miracle that she is alive today. "I would have never gone to the doctor, so it would have been a matter of time before it totally ruptured and probably taken my life," Wadford-Nordyke said. Aneurysm coiling is a risky procedure, as with any procedure to fix something in the brain. It cannot be used for all patients, but Dixit says he does it on about 80 percent of his patients. There are several doctors in Colorado who are using this method to treat brain aneurysms. Dixit is the only neurosurgeon who can perform both the coiling and open brain surgery or clipping. For more information on Dixit's program for brain aneurysms call 303-998-0004. http://www.thedenverchannel.com/health/9858610/detail.html