Capital Health Neurosurgeon First in New Jersey to Use Glue to Fill Aneurysm

Program Offers Patients Most Advanced Set of Treatment Options Available for Cerebrovascular Disease

Trenton, NJ (October 30, 2009) – Capital Health neurosurgeon Dr. Erol Veznedaroglu recently performed the first procedure in New Jersey using glue to treat an aneurysm at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. Capital Health is the only hospital in New Jersey, and one of only a handful in surrounding states, that has used this innovative technique to prevent the rupture of certain intracranial aneurysms (brain aneurysm).

Dr. Veznedaroglu, also known to his patients as Dr. Vez, was one of three doctors originally chosen nationally to use Onyx and he proctors other doctors on its use. In addition to being involved in the study of the use of Onyx in aneurysms, Dr. Veznedaroglu recently co-authored a study published in Neurosurgery which defined the risk of retreating aneurysms after initially being treated with endovascular coiling. Dr. Vez is the only physician in New Jersey and Philadelphia to have used the glue on aneurysms. It is also used to treat arteriovenous malformations.

Melanie Lucas, 47, and a resident of Burlington City, NJ was treated at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. After reviewing initial diagnostic images, her neurologist in Willingboro recommended that she be treated at Capital Health by Dr. Veznedaroglu, one of the hospital’s two dual-trained neurosurgeons, who would be able to determine the best course of treatment.

“For a long time, patients had to travel to major cities and university medical centers to receive the most advanced treatment options,” said Dr. Veznedaroglu, director of Neurosciences and Endovascular/Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery at Capital Health. “That’s no longer the case. At Capital Health we provide all of the most advanced treatments and can provide treatment recommendations that make the most sense to each individual patient. Working with a highly specialized team of nurses and other clinical staff who are trained to work with neurosurgical patients, we can deliver a level of care that goes beyond what was previously available in this area.”

“Once I met with Dr. Vez, I felt completely confident in him and his recommendation to use the glue,” said Lucas. “Throughout this entire process I felt safe. From the person who checked me in -- to the nurses and people who brought my meals, I felt taken care of. The nurses were like family. I never felt like I got lost, like you sometimes do -- it was such personal care. I would have never thought to come to Trenton, now I am so grateful that I was brought to Capital Health.”

The hospital’s Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center of New Jersey provides all of the traditional as well as endovascular treatment options available to patients suffering from cerebrovascular conditions such as stroke, aneurysm, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and arteriovenous malformation (AVM’s).

The Onyx® Liquid Embolic System (Onyx® HD-500), used in the procedure, is an artificial material used to block blood flow into aneurysms. The material is used to fill the aneurysm space, or pocket, and prevent the aneurysm from rupturing or increasing in size. The glue is delivered to the aneurysm site through a catheter which is placed into the artery in the groin and is then threaded through the vascular system to the brain and the aneurysm’s opening. The glue is injected into the aneurysm where it hardens and blocks the flow of blood into the aneurysm, preventing growth or rupture.

A cerebral or intracranial aneurysm (one located in the brain) is a weakened spot that has bulged or ballooned out from the side of an artery. The constant pressure of blood on this weakened portion of the artery can cause the aneurysm to rupture, causing blood to enter into the brain tissue of the area surrounding the brain.

Onyx® Liquid Embolic System (Onyx® HD-500) is used in the treatment of intracranial, saccular, sidewall aneurysms that present with a wide neck or with a dome-to-neck ratio that are not amenable to treatment with surgical clipping.

“The benefits of using the treatment is the glue’s ability to better fill all of the aneurysm including all of the small spaces that may not be filled using other options,” said Dr. Veznedaroglu. “Additionally, using the Onyx treatment eliminates the need for a stent, which stays in the blood vessel for life.”

Earlier this year, Capital Health opened the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center of New Jersey and added two of the nation’s leading neurosurgeons, two of the fewer than 60 dual-trained neurosurgeons nationwide --- Dr. Veznedaroglu and Dr. Kenneth Liebman -- to its staff. In addition to Drs. Veznedaroglu and Liebman, an experienced team joined them, bringing an advanced level of care to patients suffering from cerebrovascular disease.

Capital Health ranks among the top 5 percent in the nation for treatment of stroke according to HealthGrades®. Capital Health Regional Medical Center is certified as a New Jersey Comprehensive Stroke Center, the highest state designation available. Capital Health has also been awarded certification from The Joint Commission - the gold standard for stroke care. The Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center of New Jersey represents Capital Health’s $30 million investment to bring state-of-the-art stroke and cerebrovascular care to New Jersey. The Center uses the most advanced biplane angiography system available and the hospital also has a dedicated neurosurgical intensive care unit, one of only a handful in the State of New Jersey. 

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