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HackensackUMC is First in Bergen County to Perform New Groundbreaking Minimally-Invasive Surgery to Treat Life-Threatening Brain Aneurysm

June 4, 2012 10:26 AM


HackensackUMC is the first hospital in Bergen County to treat a “wide-neck” brain aneurysm by utilizing a new state-of-the-art flow-diverting technique. The Pipeline™ Embolization Device is an innovative flow diverting stent that was recently approved by the FDA.  Pipeline™ Device is a new class of embolization devices for large or giant, wide-necked, failed-treatment, and fusiform aneurysms. This groundbreaking procedure gives neurointerventional surgeons a new endovascular tool for these difficult to treat, life-threatening aneurysms. HackensackUMC is one of only a few select hospitals in this area performing this procedure on qualified patients.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Daniel Walzman, Chief of Endovascular Neurosurgery and Dr. Jeffrey Farkas of Neurosurgery and Radiology at HackensackUMC on May 8, 2012.

During the procedure, a small catheter is advanced through the artery and past the aneurysm.  The small catheter is then used to deliver the Pipeline™ stent across the aneurysm. The stent redirects blood flow away from the aneurysm and towards the normal brain tissue. Over time this causes the blood that remains in the aneurysm to form a blood clot. The blood clot eliminates the risk of a life-threatening rupture.

“This new, cutting-edge device allows us to operate on life-threatening aneurysms that were often previously considered untreatable. We now have the ability to treat many aneurysms through a tiny incision in the leg, rather than open surgery,” said Dr. Jeffrey Farkas. “The advancements in endovascular care are opening doors for patients who in the past may have had no viable alternative treatment option. Now we can treat many life-threatening brain aneurysms through a less invasive procedure, resulting in a safer, more positive overall outcome for patients.”

A brain aneurysm is a weakness in a major blood vessel that causes a portion of the vessel wall to balloon out. This weakened blood vessel, over time, can rupture, which can be life-threatening and cause significant disability and cognitive loss in survivors. About 30,000 people in the United States suffer a brain aneurysm rupture, which are fatal in about forty-percent of cases. Of those who survive, nearly seventy-percent suffer some permanent neurological deficit.

Prior to this new advancement, the available procedures to treat “wide-neck” aneurysms were often invasive, resulting in greater pain, longer recovery and greater risk for complications. Many attempts to previously treat these aneurysms through older, less invasive alternatives were often complicated by the recurrence of the aneurysm.

“HackensackUMC is making significant advancements in endovascular neurosurgery. Thanks to many recent innovations, it is now becoming commonplace to treat brain aneurysms through less invasive procedures, rather than open surgery,” said Dr. Daniel Walzman. “HackensackUMC is at the forefront of emerging technologies in minimally invasive endovascular procedures. We have one of the finest programs in the country, where physicians from different disciplines work together to give patients access to the most advanced viable treatment options. This most recent innovation just reaffirms HackensackUMC’s level of leadership in innovation and technology to enhance quality of care.”

To reach Dr. Farkas or Dr. Walzman, please call (201) 996-2000.

About Hackensack University Medical Center
HackensackUMC, a non-profit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, New Jersey, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state, and home to the only Level II Trauma Center in the county. This 775-bed facility has gone beyond traditional thinking by creating an entire campus of care, including: the Heart & Vascular Hospital, the John Theurer Cancer Center, the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital, and the Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital. As a result of using science and creativity to push medicine further, HackensackUMC has been named one of the Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals® and one of America's 50 Best Hospitals by HealthGrades®. It is listed among the Leapfrog Top Hospitals List, received 17 Gold Seals of Approval™ by the Joint Commission,  is ranked in Cancer, Cardiology and Heart Surgery, and Geriatrics by U.S. News and World Report's "2011-12 Best Hospitals" list, is ranked in eight specialties on U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals Metro Area Top 10,” is listed as one of the 50 Best Hospitals in America by Becker’s Hospital Review, and is a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence, the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation. The medical center is the hometown hospital of the New York Giants and the New Jersey Nets, and remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events. To learn more about one of the nation’s top 50 hospitals, visit:



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