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Brain surgery on Monday, then home the next day
Norma Wooley, 54, checked into Loyola University Hospital in Maywood, IL, on a recent Monday morning for brain surgery to repair a life-threatening aneurysm. She went home on Tuesday and was cured of a cerebral aneurysm.
A less invasive technique that's becoming increasingly common in brain surgery was used by John Whapham, MD, a neurologist in the Loyola University Health System in Chicago and an assistant professor in the Departments of Neurology and Neurological Surgery, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Whapham inserted a catheter in an artery in Wooley's leg and guided it up to her brain. The catheter released tiny platinum coils into the bulging aneurysm, effectively sealing it off.
"It's like filling a bathtub with concrete," he said. "She went home the next morning with a [bandage] on her leg."
Whapham is part of a new generation of neurologists who are using catheters to repair aneurysms, open clogged arteries, extract blood clots, and repair blood vessel malformations in the brain. Catheter technology has been modified for narrower and more challenging blood vessels in the brain.
"There has been a huge evolution in devices over the last five years," Whapham said. "Technology is getting better by the week."