Brain aneurysm is a weakness in one of the blood vessels in the brain, causing the vessel to bulge, ultimately resulting in a brain hemorrhage. Around thirty thousand Americans, on an average, suffer a brain hemorrhage in a year and they are treated surgically or non-surgically depending on the size of the neck of the bulge. A bulge with a narrow neck is treated non-surgically by filling it with lots of tiny metal coils that divert blood flow away from the aneurysm. However, if the neck of the bulge is wide, it is removed surgically as the metal coils would fall out and perhaps trigger a stroke by blocking the vessel.
Researchers at the University of Maryland have now discovered a new procedure that can help avoid surgery for those people with brain aneurysm, in which the blood vessel bulge has a wide neck. The new procedure, which is far less invasive than surgery, involves the use of a stent to hold the metal vessels in place. A stent is a type of wire mesh which is inserted through a tiny catheter inserted into a blood vessel in the groin. The stent is then guided into position using computerised X-ray scanners. This new procedure will considerably decrease the recovery time for the patient who can return to work within a week with literally no side effects.