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Australian private hospital first at Mater

Mater Private Hospital Brisbane became the first private hospital in Australia to treat a rare and previously untreatable brain aneurysm in March 2009 under the hand of interventional neuroradiologist, Dr Hal Rice.

The new treatment—endovascular stent reconstruction of a fusiform-shaped brain aneurysm—contributes significantly to patient outcomes and was performed in Mater Private's Cardiovascular Catheter Lab.

"Until the arrival of this novel stent, this type of brain aneurysm had limited, if any, treatment options," Dr Rice said.

"Once accurately positioned and deployed in the blood vessel that has the aneurysm, the stent reinforces the damaged or weakened artery and rapidly reduces arterial blood flow to the aneurysm, instantly taking stress off the aneurysm wall and subsequently reducing the risk of brain haemorrhage."

The Silk stent, produced by French company Balt Extrusion, allows the aneurysm to clot and heal with blood flow continuing through the stent lumen to supply the brain.

Mater Private Hospital Brisbane Executive Director Don Murray said the hospital's commitment to leading edge care was paving the way for new procedures to be integrated into private hospitals in Australia.

"This procedure is dependent on high-quality, high-resolution imaging equipment for safe and accurate stent deployment," Mr Murray said.

"Mater Private's two state-of-the-art catheter labs provide the technology required to undertake these types of procedures which are revolutionising patient care."

Dr Rice said the treatment was not only life-saving, but resulted in a fast recovery period.

"The new stent offers a viable option to patients with this rare form of brain aneurysm that could not be successfully treated with techniques and devices previously available," Dr Rice said.

"What's more, the patient is able to be discharged from hospital two to three days post procedure following this new technique."

Angiogram images of stent

Figure 1: 3D angiogram image of fusiform aneurysm
Figure 2: Angiogram image prior to stent
Figure 3: Angiogram image with stent in position

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