MMC Offers New Minimally Invasive Procedure to Treat Large Aneurysms

The first pipeline stent procedure, which offers an alternative to open brain surgery for patients with large aneurysms, in the region was performed in December at Memorial Medical Center.

Augusto Elias, DDS, MD, a neurointerventional radiologist with Clinical Radiologists, S.C., who leads the neurointerventional team in Memorial Medical Center’s Stroke Center, performed the minimally invasive procedure, known as a pipeline stent. Dr. Elias is one of only 10 physicians in Illinois who is trained to perform this procedure.

A brain aneurysm is a weakness in the wall of an artery or vein that causes a portion of the vessel to become enlarged. Some aneurysms are small and can be treated either by filling them up with coils inserted through a catheter in a minimally invasive procedure or through neurosurgery that opens the skull, clamping them off with clips. For bigger and wider aneurysms, the FDA approved in 2011 a device called the Pipeline Embolization Device, a flexible mesh tube that is delivered through a catheter, inserted into an artery in the leg and threaded to the area of the brain where the aneurysm is located.