Up to six percent of Americans have brain aneurysms, a weakening in an artery wall that allows it to stretch out and potentially burst.
For Army veteran Daniel Lang and his wife, finding out he had a complex brain aneurysm added constant worry to their days.
"It’s a lot of stress every day to leave him and go to work and not know if he is going to be there when I get home," said Darlene Lang. "Dr. Patel has changed all of that."
Dr. Patel is Carilion Clinic neurointerventional radiologist Biraj Patel, M.D., the first physician in Virginia to employ a treatment newly approved by the FDA to address complex brain aneurysms in a way that allows them to heal themselves.
In the minimally invasive procedure, Dr. Patel inserts a Woven EndoBridge (WEB) Aneurysm Embolization System into the bulging vessel to stabilize it, and in response, the patient's body naturally produces a wall of cells that permanently block the aneurysm, eliminating the risk of a future hemorrhage.
Daniel underwent the procedure at Carilion Clinic and was back home with his wife and his service dog YaYa the next day.
According to the American Heart Association, the causes of aneurysms can be congenital or the result of aortic disease or an injury.
Risk factors include:
- A family history of aneurysm
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Aneurysms can develop slowly over many years and often have no recognizable symptoms. Signs of a ruptured aneurysm include:
- Clammy skin
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid heart rate
- Low blood pressure
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with an aneurysm and you're curious about whether the WEB procedure is right for you, visit your primary care provider or call Carilion Clinic Interventional Radiology at 540-981-8353.