Treating an aneurysm

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Treating a brain aneurysm isn’t an easy task, but thanks to new technology, treatment options are expanding.

Back in June, Rapid City native Bill Kassube started noticing tremors and asked his doctor for answers.

“They confirmed that there was something there that needed to be checked out so they sent me to Dr. Sandhu, and from there it’s all history I guess,” Kassube said.

History indeed.

After finding out he had two brain aneurysms, he became the first person in the state to receive treatment using the WEB device by Dr. Divyjot Sandhu.

“This is the way to go because again, it cuts down on anesthesia time drastically, you can do more than one aneurysm in one sitting and it is a lot less invasive from that point of view,” Sandhu said.

The small self-expanding mesh ball implant reduces blood flow into the aneurysm.

Sandhu says Kassube’s aneurysms were considered moderately high risk of bleeding, and that’s when serious issues can arise.

“One third of the folks that have a bleeding aneurysm, they never make it to a hospital. And out of the two thirds that made it to a hospital, one third do not return back home or even close to home. So thankfully they’re not frequent, but when they do bleed they cause a lot of damage,” Sandhu said.

Sandhu was able to perform surgery on Kassube before any bleeding happened.

And using the WEB, Sandhu was able to forgo open brain surgery and instead enter through his groin– which provides patients with a quick recovery.

“He was able to go home, which is a good 6 hours away the following afternoon. Had we done this open, then he would’ve been looking at a good 7 to 10 days in the hospital,” Sandhu said.

Sandhu is currently the only doctor in the state with the ability to perform surgery with the device, but says more doctors will be trained in the future.

And only months after the procedure, Kassube says he’s feeling good and thankful.

“I’m just lucky to be alive I guess,” Kassube said.

Risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, oral contraceptives and family history.

To read more about what to watch for when it comes to brain aneurysms, click here.

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