Intracerebral hemorrhage, or bleeding in the brain, is the deadliest form of stroke. The bleeding can come from a ruptured brain aneurysm, arteriovenous malformation or a small vessel often made brittle because of long-standing high blood pressure.
The bleeding itself can be quickly fatal—often far too quick for treatment. But in many cases, while the initial bleeding stops on its own, the danger isn’t over. There’s a new problem—and it’s a very delicate and hazardous situation. Now the escaped blood is trapped inside the skull. There it takes up valuable space, and it can irritate and damage the surrounding brain tissue.
Neurosurgeon Dr. Sean Lavine specializes in treating intracerebral hemorrhage (also called hemorrhagic stroke) and other problems of blood flow in the brain. He points out that, while stroke is still too often a deadly event, the treatment options today are the best they have ever been.
Some of today’s most effective treatments are minimally invasive procedures that remove the escaped blood from inside the skull and secure the bleeding sources. These methods are constantly being improved as surgeons and researchers come up with new ways to reach the spilled blood while disturbing a minimum of healthy brain tissue.
Areas of focus include improving existing devices and inventing new ones for removing, as gently and thoroughly as possible, the blood that leaked out of the ruptured brain blood vessel. Surgeons are also constantly working on new ways to use advanced imaging techniques to “see” what’s happening inside the skull without opening up the area to the naked eye.
To keep his peers abreast of the latest developments, Dr. Lavine often teaches on this subject. For example, at the last meeting of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, he put together a course called Hemorrhagic Stroke for Neurosurgeons.
To teach the course, he gathered some of the nation’s top intracerebral hemorrhage specialists. Together, they summarized the current treatment guidelines. They then covered the new research, new publications and new technology that can help doctors help patients with intracerebral hemorrhage. Highlights included the most recent and advanced treatment options for cerebral aneurysm, along with new devices for minimally invasive treatment of intracerebral bleeds. Neurosurgeons from around the country and from abroad attended the course.
Lucky for patients, medicine doesn’t stand still and the “best patient care” is constantly being made even better. And lucky for doctors, neurosurgeons like Dr. Lavine help everyone stay at the forefront.
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