Cleveland Clinic doctors use 3D technology to help with surgical repair of brain aneurysms

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LAKEWOOD, Ohio — For the first time, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic are using a 3D printed replica of a brain aneurysm to help guide surgical repair.

Daniel Reyes, 25, of Lakewood said it was back in June while working out with a friend at a nearby gym that something went wrong deep inside his head.

“So right when I sat down to start my workout I leaned back against the bench and the top of my head touched it, so I cocked my head to knock it off my head so I can pick up the weights and I felt my neck and it was like really sore,” he recalled.

Daniel was suffering from a brain aneurysm and underwent surgery at the Cleveland Clinic later that day.

But this surgery was different because for the first time, a team of neurosurgeons knew exactly what Daniel’s aneurysm looked like using a 3D printed image of it during surgery.

“It’s something we just recently started to incorporate in how we’re taking care of patients and really allowing us a better look at how these brain aneurysms look on blood vessels which helps us in terms of talking to the patients about their aneurysms as well as how we can treat them better,” said Doctor Shazam Hussain.

3D printing is not new, but this is one of the first reported uses of the technology for a cerebrovascular malformation.

The model taking about 30 minutes to print produced at actual size based on angiograms of the patient’s aneurysm.

“The little bit of a bulge that comes off the blood vessel which can be very fragile and sometimes burst causing bleeding around the brain. But by allowing us to see what it looks like before and then even after treatment  to see if any additional treatments for therapies might be needed,” said Dr. Hussain.

For Daniel, doctors used a stent to block blood from flowing to the aneurysm.

Now three months later, Daniel is back at work and living life to the fullest for his family; but most importantly for himself.

“The simplest thing that you think could be, could actually be detrimental to your life so pay attention.”

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