UNDATED (CLEVELAND CLINIC)--An aneurysm is a weak spot on an artery wall that balloons into a bubble.
If that bubble bursts, it may lead to serious brain damage or death. The design of a new stent makes it unique and it's giving patients, who otherwise aren't traditional candidates for surgery, another life saving option.
Cleveland Clinic brain surgeon Dr. Shaye Moskowitz explains, "This stent is different than some of the traditional stents that have been available for a decade plus, in which the mesh of the stent is a very, very tight mesh."
20-30 percent of ruptured aneurysms are fatal before you get to a hospital. That's why it's important to treat an aneurysm before it breaks.
Traditionally, brain aneurysms are treated one of two ways, with brain surgery where the bubble is pinched off with a clip or by using a minimally invasive technique where metal coils are threaded into the aneurysm.
The new stent is snaked through a catheter in the leg and placed over the aneurysm and eventually the aneurysm scars and shrinks.
It gives patients who aren't candidates for traditional surgeries another life-saving option.
However Dr. Moskowitz says like any procedure, there are risks. He says, "We have learned that the stent is not a perfect device and has complications associated with it but the risks associated with using that stent is in the same realm of treating other aneurysms, there are concerns but no more of a concern that you would have with treating a regular aneurysm."
Right now the new stent is only FDA approved for high risk cases.
Only a handful of medical centers across the country are allowed to use it.