NEWBERRY — Dr. Michael Kilburn, Neurosurgery, Advanced Spine and Neurosurgical Associates and Dr. Leila Ganjehei, Cardiology, Advanced Cardiology Associates from Self Regional Healthcare served as guest speakers at the Newberry County Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Tuesday morning.
Kilburn spoke on minimally invasive treatments for removing brain hemorrhages.
“As a neurosurgeon, brain hemorrhages are an unfortunate, common practice. We see them in the setting of trauma and hypertension,” he said.
When there is a hemorrhage on the brain, Kilburn said that it’s important to remove it with as little invasiveness as possible, avoiding interfering with important brain functions.
Kilburn discussed the Apollo System, which uses an endoscope and has a device inside that sucks out the existing clot with no transfer of energy to the surrounding tissue, making the procedure minimally invasive, otherwise a craniotomy may be performed using brain retractors to remove the clot.
This system is not intended to remove medical issues such as tumors, although there are endoscopes that could be used to remove a tumor from a patient.
“A tumors consistency is very different. These clots, some of them are very gelatinous, some of them are very liquefied,” Kilburn said.
He said that patients between the ages of 50-70 are likely to experience clots and procedures are performed under general anesthesia.
“When they (hemorrhages) occur, they are obviously devastating to the patient. They can occur in different parts of the brain when they are associated with hypertension, with very characteristic locations in the back of the brain,” Kilburn said. “If you have a hemorrhage, you make the decision about whether or not it’s something reasonable to take out. You’re always measuring in medicine the risk and benefit.”
He added that the goal is to achieve significant tissue/fluid reduction quickly and with minimal harm to the normal brain.
Ganjehei, recalled a time when having a conversation with her best friend about which was more important: your heart or brain?
“Heart disease is still the number one cause of death in the United States,” Ganjehei said. “The heart has two different systems, one is the plumbing and the other is the electricity. The plumbing system, over time, will start to have clot formation in our arteries of the heart, sometimes due to our diets, which can clog those arteries developing what we call a heart attack.”
Procedures such as inserting stents in a patient or performing bypass surgery allow for these arteries to be opened up. If a blockage is significant enough or there are multiple blockages, patients may be referred to a surgeon for bypass surgery.
Over time, patients may also have a pacemaker inserted. The purpose of a pacemaker is to provide heartbeats when your heart is forgetting to complete itself.
“The main goal of our practice is to raise awareness between our population to try to prevent cardiac disease,” Ganjehei said.
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.