Published on June 01, 2022

Essentia Health first in North Dakota to use innovative device to prevent aneurysm patients from suffering a stroke

A device called the Woven EndoBridge (WEB) aneurysm embolization system is now being used by interventional neurologists at Essentia Health-Fargo to treat intracranial wide neck bifurcation aneurysms, which account for up to 35% of aneurysms and are considered some of the most challenging types of aneurysms to treat.

Essentia Health is the only hospital in North Dakota to use the WEB aneurysm embolization system, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2019.

“A wide-necked aneurysm has few treatment options that are reasonably safe, especially when ruptured, making the patient’s condition extremely critical,” said Essentia Health Interventional Neurologist Kiron Thomas. “We are proud to be the first health care provider in the state to offer this minimally invasive and effective treatment for this condition.”

An intracranial aneurysm is a bulging, weak area in the wall of an artery that supplies blood to the brain. Left untreated, a brain aneurysm can grow and rupture, causing a serious type of stroke known as a hemorrhagic stroke.

To prevent an aneurysm from rupturing, the WEB system (a mesh-wire cylinder) is inserted within the aneurysm itself via a micro-catheter. Once placed inside the aneurysm, the WEB system’s technology bridges the aneurysm neck. This causes a clot to form, sealing off the aneurysm from blood flow.

The WEB system has proven to be an effective treatment for this subset of aneurysms that have been difficult to treat with alternative therapies.

The WEB system treats challenging aneurysms that often require multiple implants with a single device, requires a shorter procedure time, avoids the placement of a stent in the brain artery and potentially reduces medication taken after the procedure.

According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, an estimated 6.5 million – or one in 50 – people in the United States have an unruptured brain aneurysm. About 30,000 people in the United States suffer a brain aneurysm rupture every year.

Why is this device important? Having a more effective option that providers can use to treat life-threatening aneurysms is incredibly beneficial for patient outcomes.