St. Mary’s Performs Its First Awake Aneurysm Craniotomy

Feb 17, 2020

West Palm Beach, Fla.-February 17th 2020 - St. Mary’s Medical Center is now performing awake aneurysm craniotomies. A weak area in the blood vessels can develop into a balloon called an Aneurysm, carrying an inherent risk of bursting. This is treated either by coiling, or a surgical technique known as "clipping". During this procedure, the skull is opened, and the aneurysm on the artery is clipped, preventing it from bursting and causing a brain hemorrhage

“These surgeries are traditionally performed under general anesthesia, but the clipping of aneurysms while patients are awake, is a novel way of treating this condition,” said Dr. Raghuram Sampath, Cerebrovascular Neurosurgeon on staff at St. Mary’s Medical Center. “Having the patient awake is the most reliable way to ensure we don’t cause damage to the brain, while safely securing the aneurysm.”

During the surgery, the patient does not feel pain, as all the sensitive nerves on scalp are anesthetized. During the surgery, the surgeon speaks to the patient, and asks them to perform simple tasks, making sure their motor and speech function remains intact.

“St. Mary’s Medical Center is dedicated to providing the best care to our critically ill neurological patients,” said Chief Executive Officer, Cynthia McCauley. “This is just another example of some of the great work being done at our hospital by our specially trained team and critical care unit, with the goal of providing our patients with the care needed to recover.”

For more information on the neurosciences program at St. Mary’s Medical Center, go to our website.

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