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The Warning Signs for an Aneurysm and New Technology

Monday, October 14, 2019 11:13 AM

From stroke to aneurysm, NorthShore Neurosurgeon Shakeel Chowdhry, MD, continues to pioneer new minimally invasive techniques to repair dangerous threats inside the brain. One of these new advanced options available at NorthShore is the Woven EndoBridge (WEB) aneurysm embolization system.

Aneurysm

WEB is constructed of a sphere of tiny woven wires that are threaded up into an aneurysm where it forms to its shape and holds in place so that it prevents blood flow into the aneurysm and allows the vessel wall to heal. It is typically inserted into an artery in the groin area.

Recently approved by the FDA, Dr. Chowdhry is one of only a few Chicagoland neurosurgeons trained on advanced technology.

“The device sits entirely inside the aneurysm, rather than putting anything in the parent artery as tradition flow devices do,” says Dr. Chowdhry, who holds an academic appointment at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. "Patients with small to moderate-sized aneurysms that are located at “bifurcation points” where an artery separates into two large branches are good candidates for WEB. The benefit of this treatment is that the device sits entirely within the aneurysm leaving the normal arteries untouched."

Dr. Chowdhry also notes that WEB devices in the future will be inserted through the wrist. "More and more diagnostic and intervention procedures are being performed through the wrist. This device (along with aneurysm coils and flow diverting stents) can be inserted through the femoral artery in the leg or the radial artery in the wrist."

WEB is a relatively new technology, so long term follow-up data is limited, says Chowdhry. However, it is expected to be a lifelong cure for the treated aneurysm.

Warning Signs of an Aneurysm?

Unruptured brain aneurysms often have no symptoms and are found incidentally, during tests for other conditions. In some cases unruptured aneurysms may become large and press on nerves in the brain causing these symptoms:

  • Weakness and or numbness 
  • Blurred or double vision
  • A drooping eyelid
  • A dilated pupil 
  • Pain above and behind one eye