Saint Francis opens Revolutionary Neurosurgery Hybrid Suite

Sunday, February 27, 2011
Saint Francis Medical Center

Patients at Saint Francis Medical Center now have access to the region's most advanced minimally invasive neurosurgery facility.

Saint Francis has built a hybrid suite for endovascular neurosurgery. Endovascular neurosurgery is the minimally invasive treatment of neurovascular disease affecting the brain and spinal cord, such as cerebral aneurysms, narrowing of the carotid artery, stroke and arteriovenous malformations (AVMs).

"This room is technology at its best," says Louis P. Caragine Jr., MD, PhD, fellowship-trained vascular and endovascular neurosurgeon at Saint Francis. "The room is equipped with imaging equipment that is more advanced than any between St. Louis and Memphis."

Dr. Louis P. Caragine Jr.

The machine can be used for a wide variety of endovascular procedures, including treating brain aneurysms. Instead of opening the brain to treat an aneurysm, Caragine inserts a catheter into the patient's leg and threads a tiny flexible coil into the catheter. He then uses the detachable coil to block the flow of blood into the aneurysm and help the aneurysm clot. With ruptured aneurysms, this technique can prevent rebleeding, which is often fatal.

If Caragine cannot repair the aneurysm with the coil, however, he will need to convert the procedure to an open surgery. This typically means the surgical team must transport the patient to an operating room, which takes a significant amount of time and can affect the outcome of the surgery.

With the hybrid suite, however, Caragine can convert the procedure to an open surgery in the same room. "I will be able to change over the room in 15 minutes, which results in less trauma for the patient," says Caragine. "I have everything I need in that one room, which is of tremendous benefit for Saint Francis' patients.

"I have supervised two other medical facilities as they built a hybrid suite, and I believe the suite at Saint Francis will be the best in the world."

For more information, visit www.sfmc.net or call Saint Francis at 573-331-5877.

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