Treating brain aneurysms before they rupture - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Treating brain aneurysms before they rupture

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Christine Pampeno found out she had a large aneurysm in her brain after she took a bad fall.

"I was very surprised when my doctor told me not only did I break my shoulder, but they saw some abnormal image in my CAT scan," she said.

The bulge in an artery is pressing on the optic nerve, putting her eyesight in danger. And the aneurysm could be life-threatening if it ruptures. So, the 63-year-old is about to have an experimental procedure at Roosevelt Hospital in New York.

Doctors reached the brain through an artery in her groin, and then they put a tiny mesh called a flow redirection endoluminal device or FRED across the opening of the aneurysm.

"Just by cutting of the blood flow, the clot in the aneurysm dissolves slowly over time and the entire thing shrinks," said Dr. Johanna Fifi of Roosevelt Hospital.

Nearly two dozen hospitals across the country plan to test the new aneurysm device. Doctors hope to study about 125 patients.

"This allows for treatment of complex aneurysms that couldn't be treated before," Fifi said.

Pampeno beat breast cancer 10 years ago and says she'll survive this, too.

"You get through it," she said.

With the surgery behind her, Pampeno is now looking forward to a family vacation to Hawaii.

The new aneurysm device has already been approved in Europe, Turkey and South America, with more than 100 patients treated worldwide.

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