Harper University Hospital is known as one of the best endovascular neurosurgery programs in the nation. Endovascular neurosurgery (or neuroendovascular surgery) is the term used to describe repair procedures from within the blood vessels.
Although it is a type of surgery, it is minimally invasive with most interventions occurring through an incision no larger than the tip of a pen. A small catheter is passed through the blood vessel using high-tech imaging equipment to reach the site of disease. Endovascular neurosurgery is the preferred treatment for patients who cannot undergo open surgical procedures because of age or other medical conditions.
Click here to watch a video of a Harper neurosurgeon treat a patient's stroke and aneurysm using minimally invasive endovascular surgery.
A number of highly specialized neurosurgery procedures can be performed via an endovascular approach.
Intracranial Stenting – This procedure is used to treat intracranial stenosis, a severe narrowing of an artery within the skull. This narrowing of the blood vessel limits blood supply to the brain, putting patients with the condition at serious risk of stroke. With the patient awake, Harper neuroendovascular surgeons painlessly place a small stent within the diseased blood vessel to return it to its normal size. A stent is a small, metal mesh tube used to support the walls of an artery. Patients usually experience immediate relief from symptoms and, in some cases, are able to leave the hospital the next day.
Carotid Stenting – When severe narrowing of the carotid artery — carotid stenosis — puts patients at risk of stroke, the neuroendovascular surgeons at Harper perform the latest carotid stenting procedures. With the patient awake and mildly sedated, surgeons painlessly place a stent within the diseased segment of the carotid artery to return it to its normal size. A stent is a small, metal mesh tube used to support the walls of an artery. Patients usually experience immediate relief from symptoms and, in some cases, are able to leave the hospital the next day.
Stroke Thrombolysis – When a patient suffers a stroke due to a blood clot in the brain, stroke thrombolysis is the preferred treatment. Using small wires and catheters thousandths of an inch in thickness, Harper’s neuroendovascular surgeons deliver clot dissolving medication directly to the blood clot. The result: normal blood flow returns. Stroke thrombolysis is performed for patients with acute thromboembolic stroke within 6 hours of occurrence.
Embolization – Harper University Hospital is a premier center for the neuroendovascular treatment of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). When a vascular malformation “steals” blood from its normal circulatory course, embolization — the intentional closing of a blood vessel — is often the best treatment to normalize blood flow. By placing a small microcatheter into one of the blood vessels leading to the AVM, Harper neuroendovascular surgeons are able to painlessly fill the abnormal blood vessel with rapidly hardening glue. Sometimes other embolic devices are used, such as a detachable balloon or coil. This eliminates the malformation and normalizes blood flow.
Intracranial Angioplasty – When blood thinners and other non-surgical treatments for low blood flow in the brain are ineffective, Harper neuroendovascular surgeons can expertly perform angioplasty procedures to improve blood flow and prevent a stroke. Using microwires and microcatheters, Harper neurosurgeons place a small angioplasty balloon in the targeted segment of artery. The balloon gently expands the diseased, narrowed artery, allowing more blood flow. Patients often experience immediate improvement in symptoms.
Aneurysm Therapy – An aneurysm is a balloon-like swelling in the wall of an artery that can steal blood away from the brain. Harper’s neuroendovascular surgeons are experts in treating cerebral aneurysms by rebuilding the artery from the inside. Using a small metal stent, Harper surgeons create a new wall between the artery and the aneurysm. A stent is a small, metal mesh tube used to support the walls of an artery. In some cases, small platinum coils are placed into the aneurysm, causing it to close and normalizing blood flow to the brain.