Medical Center only third hospital in PA to perform this new treatment for brain aneurysms
New procedure highlights:
- Minimally invasive treatment for brain aneurysms reduces patient discomfort and shortens length of hospital stay
- Treatment uses Onyx HD, a liquid, glue-like substance, to fill aneurysms from inside the blood vessel
- Prevents aneurysms from ever bleeding or causing a stroke
- May be more effective for certain aneurysms over the long-term than coil embolization treatments
- Entire procedure takes about three hours; patients usually stay in the hospital one or two days
- Very short recovery time; many people return to work within in a week or two
Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center recently became only the third hospital in Pennsylvania, and one of only about thirty institutions in the country to offer a new, minimally invasive treatment for brain aneurysms. Brain (cerebral) aneurysms are balloon like out-pouchings that can develop off of brain arteries. Like balloons, these out-pouchings can burst, causing a devastating type of stroke as blood leaks in and around the brain. This new treatment uses a liquid, glue-like substance called Onyx HD to completely fill aneurysms from the inside of the blood vessel, thereby preventing them from ever bleeding or causing a stroke.
Many years ago, brain (cerebral) aneurysms could only be treated with a major, invasive surgical procedure that involved opening the skull and working around the folds of the brain to place a metal clip across the base of the aneurysm. This procedure often took several hours, required a hospital stay of about a week, and often left patients out of work for several weeks. In recent years, minimally invasive brain aneurysm treatment called aneurysm coil embolization, or aneurysm coiling, has become increasingly popular. Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center was the first hospital in the mid-state to perform this procedure and even today, despite its widespread popularity in other areas of the country, the Medical Center remains the only center in south central Pennsylvania where this procedure is performed.
During an aneurysm coiling procedure, doctors at Penn State Hershey first introduce a catheter into an artery in the upper leg through a small quarter inch incision. This catheter is guided up into an artery in the neck that is feeding the brain. From there, a smaller, thinner micro-catheter is directed into the brain aneurysm itself. Fine, soft loops of platinum wire, called coils, are then placed inside the aneurysm to close it off. While this procedure has a high rate of initial success and patients recover very quickly, over time, some aneurysms, particularly those with large or wide bases, can re-grow as continued blood flow compresses the coil mass. This new technique using Onyx HD allows for more complete aneurysm filling and, therefore, a lower rate of recurrence for these challenging, broad-based aneurysms.
The Onyx HD procedure is performed in a way very similar to the coil embolization procedure. However, instead of placing coils in the aneurysm, the liquid Onyx HD is used. The Onyx HD is carefully injected directly into the aneurysm through a small, thin micro-catheter while the bottom or base of the aneurysm is temporarily sealed with a separate balloon-tipped catheter. The entire procedure takes about three hours, and patients usually stay in the hospital one or two days. Recovery time is very short, and many people return to work within in a week or two.
Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and the Penn State Neuroscience Institute, along with the Departments of Neurosurgery and Radiology as well as the Penn State Hershey Stroke Center, remain committed to ensuring that central Pennsylvanians have access to the best and most up-to-date treatments for stroke and cerebrovascular disease. For inquiries regarding the Onyx HD procedure or any form of brain (cerebral) aneurysm treatments, please contact 717-531-3828.