Because of the complexity of certain brain aneurysms, treatment is limited for some patients - until now.

Pipeline device offers minimally invasive brain aneurysm treatment

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It is estimated that 6 million people in the United States have an unruptured brain aneurysm - that's 1 in 50 people. According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, a brain aneurysm ruptures every 18 minutes and 40% of these cases are fatal. Of those who survive, about 66 percent suffer some permanent neurological deficit.

What is an aneurysm? Put simply, it is a weak spot in the wall of the blood vessel within the brain, characterized by an abnormal “ballooning” or widening of the vessel.

Because of the complexity of certain brain aneurysms, treatment is limited for some patients - until now. A new device is now available for patients who previously had no other treatment option for brain aneurysms.

The Pipeline® Embolization Device for the treatment of brain aneurysms is now available at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, Va.

“The Pipeline Embolization Device is a breakthrough and life-saving treatment. It essentially helps us to reconstruct the artery itself and allowing to treat brain aneurysms that do not have another good alternative,” said John Agola, M.D., a board-certified radiologist, specializing in interventional neuroradiology.

The Pipeline Embolization Device, a braided cylindrical mesh, is placed across the opening (or "neck") of a large or giant wide-necked brain aneurysm using a catheter. The device diverts blood flow away from the aneurysm by creating a link from one end of the normal blood vessel to the other, restoring original, natural blood circulation. This slows the flow of blood into the aneurysm, which allows the diseased vessel to heal. Overtime the aneurysm will clot off and dissolve completely for a permanent long-term cure. 

Sentara Norfolk General Hospital is one of only three sites in Virginia - and one of 30 on the entire East Coast - to offer this advanced procedure for treating the previously untreatable brain aneurysm. This procedure is part of a larger comprehensive interventional neuroradiology program at the hospital, which includes minimally invasive treatments and diagnostic imaging for a wide range of conditions involving the brain, the head and neck region, and the spine and spinal cord.

In addition, the program is part of the Sentara Primary Stroke Center at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and a critical part of the multidisciplinary team of experts providing highly specialized neurovascular to patients. For more information about the physician performing the pipeline procedure, call the Sentara Neurosciences Institute at 877-310-8713.