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Stroke surgery 'may have evolved'

Stroke surgery 'may have evolved'
2nd April 2009

A recent operation involving a woman with a life-threatening aneurysm has highlighted a change in techniques which could revolutionise the use of surgery to prevent stroke.

Norma Wooley checked into Loyola University Hospital in Chicago on Monday morning for emergency brain surgery after developing slurred speech, facial weakness and a huge headache.

However, on the following day she emerged from the hospital without any of these symptoms and nothing but a small plaster on her leg for her troubles.

Scientists inserted a catheter into her artery in her leg and slowly guided it up to her brain before releasing tiny platinum coils to seal off the problem, showing a huge evolution in the technology from just five years previously where it was predominantly used for heart surgery.

This could, researchers say, prevent such aneurysms from causing huge strokes in the future.

It follows more research from Michigan State Universty this month which has linked high cholesterol diets with an increased chance of having a stroke.

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