Aneurysms: Saving Lives With Super Glue?

Aneurysms are a fairly scary medical issue- they seem to strike mysteriously even in young people, and can silently kill or seriously injure a person who had not previously appeared ill or symptomatic.

But doctors have recently had success treating the scary vascular condition with what can best be described as a super glue. Neurosurgeon Maj. Christopher Koebbe, MD described the scary stats in play when an aneurysm is discovered:

“The danger of an aneurysm is that it could rupture, causing a massive brain hemorrhage. If that were to happen, there would be a 50 to 60 percent chance that a patient would die or be disabled from that hemorrhage.”

Koebbe said that up until recently, the condition could only be treated via “invasive” brain surgery. Now, he says, the procedure is a lot simpler for both doctor and patient:

“This is a great advancement,” Koebbe said. “We can basically fill the aneurysm from the inside out.”

It’s a super-glue-like fluid called Onyx.

Koebbe explained, “We actually make a small opening in the femoral artery in the groin area and track long catheters into the brain cavities, into the arteries of the brain. The minute that fluid hits the blood, it immediately polymerizes or forms a solid. The glue literally doesn’t escape the aneurysm. There’s no blood getting into the aneurysm. Thus, the aneurysm is cured, it’s not going to bleed.”

Speaking of a specific patient, Koebbe described the before and after x-rays as having “almost took an eraser and just erased the aneurysm from the picture.”