Physicians at Abbott Northwestern Hospital lead the way with aneurysm treatment; find promising results

MINNEAPOLS (Feb. 8, 2022) — Physicians at Allina Health’s Abbott Northwestern Hospital were among the first in the nation to treat brain aneurysm patients with the Woven EndoBridge (WEB) Aneurysm Embolization System. Now, they’re applying this less-invasive, faster treatment to a majority of aneurysm patients and seeing tremendous results. 

“This program is unique because we are applying this technique originally designed for a specific type of aneurysm to a much larger breadth of patients. In 2021, Abbott Northwestern Hospital treated about two-thirds of our brain aneurysm patients this way,” said Yasha Kayan, MD. “That ranks among the most in the country. The more you do, the better you are, and we’ve seen the benefits of this treatment for our patients—a quicker procedure that lowers the risk of stroke and the rate of retreatment.”

A WEB device is a small basket made of very-fine wire mesh used to plug an aneurysm. The alternative minimally invasive procedure uses conventional coils made of metal and shaped like springs.

Abbott Northwestern Hospital became involved in early FDA trials of the WEB device in 2014—physicians at Abbott Northwestern Hospital conducted eight of the 150 procedures performed across the country. The device has since received FDA approval.

Nancy Skoog-Edholm of Maple Plain had a bad headache and high blood pressure that led her to pursue medical care. She was diagnosed with viral meningitis, but perhaps most alarming was discovering a large, unruptured brain aneurysm. She was one of the first patients treated with WEB at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.

“An aneurysm is like a ticking time bomb,” said Skoog-Edholm. “My grandma, aunt and cousin all died before the age of 56 because of ruptured aneurysms. I have full faith in the work done by Dr. Kayan and the WEB device to stop my aneurysm from rupturing.”

Dr. Kayan says the WEB device procedure takes about 40 minutes, while conventional coiling takes an hour and a half on average. There is also a greater risk of a coil breaking free and causing a stroke. Stroke is the most significant risk for both procedures, but the risk is significantly lower with the WEB device.

“It is always our goal that patients undergo successful procedures that allow them to live their lives to the fullest. By expanding this treatment, we are making that a reality for more people,” said Dr. Kayan. 

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