New surgical technique a success

2013-04-02 00:00

A GROUND-BREAKING new surgical technique was performed on Droupadi Ramdayal at Inkosi Chief Albert Luthuli Hospital in Durban recently.

Ramdayal had a previously inoperable brain aneurysm, a condition which can lead to death. This kind of aneurysm is highly dangerous as it can burst without warning and the resulting bleeding on the brain can cause stroke-like symptoms or even death.

Durban neuro-radiologist Dr Duncan Royston and neuro-surgeon Dr Rohen Harrichandparsad performed the operation under the watchful eye of internationally renowned neuro-interventionalist Professor Michel Piotin from the Rothchild Foundation in Paris, France.

Piotin was brought to the country to coach the two doctors and show them how the procedure was to be done. The three-man team performed the new endovascular treatment of the cerebral aneurysm with a specialised Pipeline Embolisation Device (PED).

PED is a stent designed to decrease blood flow into the aneurysm, while maintaining flow to the brain.

Through a small incision in the patient’s groin, a catheter is threaded along the patient’s blood vessels to help carry the PED to the brain under angiographic guidance.

The PED device allows treatment for a group of patients who are not suitable candidates for either coiling or clipping.

Aneurysms occur when blood vessel walls weaken, causing them to balloon out. People may walk around with brain aneurysms for years without any symptoms. The threat is that they will burst; the bleeding that follows can be lethal.

Depending on the aneurysm size and type, they are commonly treated either by filling them up with coils inserted through a catheter during a brain angiogram or through neuro-surgery by opening the skull and excluding them from the normal brain circulation with an aneurysm clip.

Ramdayal expressed her gratitude to the team and was delighted to have been the first patient in SA to be treated with a pipeline stent.

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