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Nov, 27.
2012

Vascular malfomations of the brain

A minimal-invasive intervention for an aneurysm of the brain can often replace an extensive skull operation. In about 2.5 percent have a bulge (aneurysm) on a vessel in the brain. The big risk: if the vascular wall of the aneurysm, which is thinner than the rest of the vessel wall, tears this leads to a life-threatening cerebral bleeding. An especially mild treatment of such vessel bulges is offered by Prof. Dr. Kiwit at the HELIOS hospital Berlin-Buch. Initially an angiography is performed to display the cerebral vessels. When performing the so-called "coiling" the physicians insert a catheter via the femoral artery and the abdominal aorta into the brain. Soft platinum spirals (coils) are pushed into the cerebral aneurysm via the catheter. The spirals coil up forming a tight ball and so filling the bulge excluding it from the regular blood stream. By this the danger of a cerebral bleeding is averted. The great advantage of this minimal-invasive method: an operation requiring the opening of the skull is not necessary anymore. The surrounding brain tissue is spared, the risk of nervous dysfunctions such as limitations of sight, speech and cognitive impairments or severe paralysis is minimized. For the patient, this means: shorter stays, less pain and a smaller, non-visible scar. More than 500 patients were treated successfully at the HELIOS hospital Berlin-Buch by coiling, the amount of operated patients is less than 10 percent namely in those situations when endovascular (catheter interventions coming from the inside of the vessel) therapy was not possible. Prof. Kiwit says "At HELIOS in Berlin-Buch, Neurosurgeons and Neuroradiologists have practiced in a trusting cooperation for about 13 years now." For the last five years the endovascular therapy has become the new "gold standard". The clinical results for the patients are excellent and are even better than published in The Lancet in 2005 by the international aneurysm-study (ISAT).

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