‘Using this type of technology to look after patients like Carla is game-changing’
A young woman who suffered a brain aneurysm while out shopping received life-saving brain surgery – which was performed through her wrist.
Carla Hogg, 24, suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm while out running errands earlier this year and was rushed to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow, Scotland. Medics performed immediate “coiling” surgery which involved accessing her brain via her wrist to stop the bleeding and save her life.
But follow-up precautionary scans revealed another two aneurysms. To avoid a repeat of her first rupture, doctors again opted to operate using the coiling method. The minimally-invasive technique meant surgeons avoided having to open Hogg’s skull to operate, and she was allowed to go home the next day.
The process saw doctors use a network of arteries to feed through a catheter transporting a tiny flexible mesh tube called a stent, towards the aneurysm. The stent, which comes in a range of sizes, was loaded into the very end of the catheter.
Once reaching the aneurysms, the stents are positioned which diverted the flow of blood away from the aneurysm, helping minimize the chance of future rupture.
Hogg, a community care worker, was on the phone to her dad James, 67, when the initial rupture occurred. “I was using hands free to speak to my dad as I drove to the shop and I suddenly started slurring my words,” she recalls in an interview per South West News Service. “The only other thing I can remember was the feeling of blood rushing from my head down my body. Luckily I had time to pull the car in before I blacked out.”
Hogg was put into an induced coma and her family was told to prepare for the worst ahead of the life-saving surgery. But thanks to the preventative surgery, she is already looking to get back to work.
“It’s hard to get my head around having brain surgery to being back on my feet so fast. The staff at the QEUH have been absolutely amazing,” she says. “I’m a natural worrier and my doctor, Wazim, has been there at every step answer all of my questions and look after my care.”
Wazim Izzath, a consultant in Interventional Neuroradiology, says Hogg is one of many patients he has been able to look after by performing stent and coil surgery from the wrist.
“Using this type of technology to look after patients like Carla is game-changing,” says Izzath.“It’s a hugely effective means of treating a brain aneurysm and allows the patients to mobilize early and go home the following day, minimizing procedural risks and in a position where we know their chances of another rupture are minimized.”
Report by Ellie Forbes, South West News Service