About Pipeline Embolization Devices
A pipeline embolization device, or PED, is a revolutionary tool neurosurgeons can use to treat patients who suffer from aneurysms.
A cerebral aneurysm occurs when the walls of the brain’s blood vessels have weak spots. These spots can expand or widen abnormally, causing ruptures that can lead to death or immediate loss of physical abilities.
The PED is a thin braided cylindrical mesh device placed across the aneurysm’s opening, which stops blood flow to the aneurysm. Limiting excess blood flow will often cause the aneurysm to clot and dissolve back into the body.
Goal of Using a Pipeline Embolization Device
The goal of using a Pipeline Embolization Device tool is simply to implant it across the aneurysm neck and allow for healing of the diseased vessel.
Other approaches for treating an aneurysm include inserting a catheter to implant very small and soft wires into the aneurysm, a procedure known as “coiling.”
Coiling procedures and PED procedures are performed through a tiny blood vessel in your groin. Few people need both kinds.
Alternatively a neurosurgeon may do a “clipping” of the aneurysm’s neck through an opening in the head. Those aneurysms best suited for the Pipeline device are usually those were a traditional surgical approach is very difficult.
With PEDs, skilled neurosurgeons now have a way of treating aneurysms without the normal risks associated with the previously mentioned clipping surgery.
How a Procedure With a Pipeline Embolization Device is Performed
Prior to this procedure, you will be asked to have several imaging tests done so that your surgeon is able to accurately assess the size and location of the aneurysm. You will undergo a complete medical history review, blood tests, neurological exam and MRI imaging.
To prepare for your hospital treatment, take the medication given to you as prescribed by your doctor or neurosurgeon. You will be asked to take medication that will thin your blood such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), or ticagrelor (Brilinta).
During the procedure, you will usually be given general anesthesia because you can’t move while this delicate device is placed in the blood vessel. The procedure usually takes only one and a half hours. With some patients, the time it takes to locate the aneurysm and place the device properly can take up to three hours. This is considered normal and is not cause for alarm.
Immediately after the procedure, you will be transferred to the recovery room, where you can take your required medications. Here, you must wait for specific instructions from your surgeon.
While you may feel fine as soon as a few days later, the entire recovery can take anywhere from one to six months, depending on the case. If you have suffered an aneurysm rupture prior to your treatment, you may need to be hospitalized for a couple of weeks. If, however, your aneurysm was intact, you could be released within one or two days and be back to work in as little as a few days to a week.
For your full recovery, allow about four to six weeks for things to get back to normal. Go light on your house chores. Have someone at home helping you, especially when lifting heavy things, and keep physical activities to a minimum for the first week.
Why Choose Neurosurgeons of New Jersey?
The doctors at Neurosurgeons of New Jersey are among the most subspecialized surgeons in the tri-state area. We approach our operations with a combination of cutting-edge technology and patient-focused care. Each surgeon practices only in his or her particular field of study to ensure the highest-quality treatment and success rate possible.
Please feel free to contact us for any questions you may have regarding your upcoming procedure. We will be happy to provide any information you may need and answer any questions you may have as we strive to make your journey to health and recovery a peaceful one.