Carilion Clinic uses new brain aneurysm treatment

Published: May. 23, 2019 at 5:18 PM EDT
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A Carilion Clinic patient and army veteran is the first in Virginia to receive a new brain aneurysm treatment.

"It's a lot of stress everyday to leave him and to go to work and not know if he's going to be here when I get home," Darlene Lang, the aneurysm patient's wife, said.

That's how Darlene felt about her husband Daniel Lang when they found out he had a brain aneurysm.

"She's a medical alert dog, so she alerts on seizures, so she came in to get me, I went in the living room, I found him face down on the floor, he just had a seizure," Darlene said.

The seizure is what led doctors to find the aneurysm. But lucky for Daniel, Carilion now has a new and better way of treating them. It's called the WEB Aneurysm Embolization System and has recently been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Daniel, an army veteran from Bland County, was the first person in Virginia to receive this treatment.

It works like this, "Through the vessels, we bring up a small catheter into the aneurysm sack, we park the catheter right at the aneurysm sack and deploy this device," Biraj Patel (MD), a Neurointerventional radiologist with Carilion Clinic, said.

A mesh-like ball blocks off the blood flow into the aneurysm sack and allows it to clot away and diminish the risk of it bleeding.

Dr. Patel with Carilion Clinic is among the first in the country to be trained on how to use this new system.

"He explained it and how different it was and how much better it actually is than the original way he was going to do it," Aneurysm patient Daniel said.

Dr. Patel added, "The benefits of this device compared to traditional techniques are to avoid an open surgery, avoid blood thinners, avoid more complex endovascular procedures."

This new treatment allows Carilion to treat more patients locally.