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McPherson: Technology has improved survival rate

Coiling keeps Mississippi ahead

The technology of cerebral coiling was first approved by the FDA in 1995 and quickly became medicine’s new cutting-edge technique to fight brain aneurysms. “There was still a debate over the method but that was answered through the ISAT clinical studies in 2002,” says Dr. Scott McPherson, a neurointerventional radiologist for St. Dominic Hospital. “The study showed unequivocally that coiling was much safer. This method has revolutionized the way aneurysms are treated and one of the real true improvements made in medicine in the last five years.”

Aneurysms occur when a weakened artery in the brain or heart fills up with blood and swells to the point of bursting. Health factors that can increase the risk of aneurysms include hypertension, smoking, drug abuse, tumors or inherited disorders. Cerebral aneurysms are not as common as aortic aneurysms but they can be just as deadly especially with hemorrhaging. “There is an incredible mortality rate, the victim has a 70 percent chance of dying,” McPherson says. The traditional method of treating cerebral aneurysms involved invasive surgery through clipping, an effective but dangerous procedure where the neurosurgeon removes part of the skull and applies metal clips to the area to prevent further bleeding

McPherson says that cerebral coiling is non-surgical and has improved the survival rate of suitable candidates as much as 85 percent. Doctors use a microcatheter to fill up the aneurysm with tiny platinum wires preventing or stopping a hemorrhage. “The survival rates are tremendously higher,” McPherson says. “We’ve seen a tremendous reduction in brain injury during the procedure and complications have been greatly reduced. The hospital stays are shorter.”

St. Dominic Hospital is the only area private hospital in Mississippi to offer this therapy. For more information contact the hospital’s Neuroscience Center at (601) 200-5836.

Contact MBJ staff writer Stephen McDill at stephen.mcdill@msbusiness.com.

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