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Lenox Hill Hospital using new device to treat aneurysms

Lenox Hill Hospital is 1 of 20 centers in the US participating in a clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of a new device to treat brain aneurysms without traditional surgery.

"In this trial we use a device that is revolutionizing the treatment of brain aneurysms. The device offers a new and safer way for the management of large aneurysms that are difficult to treat with traditional methods," said Rafael Alexander Ortiz, MD, Director of Neuro-Endovascular Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital.

The trial uses a Flow Re-Direction Endoluminal Device (FRED) which is a small, metallic mesh tube which is placed in the parent artery to divert blood away from the aneurysm without the need to go into the aneurysm itself.

The device contains the flow of blood within the tube to keep it away from the aneurysm, thereby causing the aneurysm to eventually loose blood supply and close, minimizing the chance of rupture.

Traditionally, there are two ways to treat an aneurysm safely and effectively: clipping and coiling, both which require a craniotomy. Clipping is a surgical procedure performed on both ruptured and unruptured aneurysms.

In this procedure, a small opening is made in the skull and a clip is placed across the base of aneurysm, cutting off the blood flow to the aneurysm. Coiling is a minimally invasive endovascular procedure that requires the insertion of a catheter into the brain to the aneurysm. Soft platinum coils are deployed in the aneurysm and conform to the shape of the aneurysm, fill the sac and block blood flow to prevent the aneurysm from rupturing.

"By not placing a device inside the aneurysm, the risk of rupturing the aneurysm during surgery is greatly diminished," said David J. Langer, MD, LHH’s Director, Division of Neurosurgery. "This new device allows us to treat large, complex aneurysms that couldn’t be treated before."

An estimated six million people in the United States have an unruptured brain aneurysm. An aneurysm is a weak area in the wall of a blood vessel that causes the blood vessel to bulge or balloon out. When an aneurysm occurs in a blood vessel of the brain, it is called a cerebral aneurysm.