Surgical break through is available in Albany - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Surgical break through is available in Albany

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Today's the day for News on the Road!

    Today's the day for News on the Road!

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:30 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:30:38 GMT
    WALB News 10 is hitting the road for our 60th anniversary. You might remember this photo from 2004. Yolanda, Dawn, and Ben having fun with the Ladies of the Red Hat Society in Tifton for WALB's 50thMore >>
    WALB News 10 is hitting the road for our 60th anniversary. You might remember this photo from 2004. Yolanda, Dawn, and Ben having fun with the Ladies of the Red Hat Society in Tifton.More >>
  • Kutcher's peanut ponder picture makes London news

    Kutcher's peanut ponder picture makes London news

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:17 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:17:49 GMT
    Ashton Kutcher, one of the world's top TV stars, stopped to ponder Georgia's official Peanut Statue in Ashburn. His selfie, showing himself and his fiancé, Mila Kunis, appreciating the structure, hasMore >>
    Ashton Kutcher, one of the world's top TV stars, stopped to ponder Georgia's official Peanut Statue in Ashburn. His selfie, showing himself and his fiancé, Mila Kunis, appreciating the structure, has circled the globe.More >>
  • Supreme Court to hear Cuthbert insurance case

    Supreme Court to hear Cuthbert insurance case

    Thursday, April 17 2014 10:15 AM EDT2014-04-17 14:15:49 GMT
    The Georgia Supreme Court announced that it will hear the case of BARZEY V. CITY OF CUTHBERT (S14A0620)  next week. A woman whose adult son was killed while working for the City of Cuthbert is appealingMore >>
    A woman whose adult son was killed while working for the City of Cuthbert is appealing a Randolph County court ruling that she is not entitled to her son's death benefit, even though she is his only legal heir.More >>

September 21, 2007

Albany  --  It's arguably the most important organ in the body. Without it, other organs wouldn't properly function. So when blood flow to the brain is restricted, it's imperative for that flow to be restored and fast. Either by cleaning out the carotid artery, or by opening it up through a stent.

 A Phoebe doctor is the first in the Albany area to perform Carotid Artery stenting and already eight lives have been saved. It's a major procedure, and until recently one that patients who live in Albany, couldn't have it done in town. 

"Until now, we've been sending all these patients to other institutions and it's cumbersome for the patients and for us to have to do that." But now, Dr. Francis Herrbold, a cardiovascular surgeon, is performing carotid artery stenting at Phoebe Putney Hospital. 

The first to perform it here, because of the intense training. "There aren't a lot of people who do carotid stenting, mostly because of complications and because of the training that's involved," said Dr. Herrbold.

The surgery itself doesn't take that long, only about an hour.  But in that short time period, a lifeline is restored. "The carotid artery controls blood flow to the brain and so it's higher priced real estate if you will than say, the leg," said Dr. Herrbold.

That's because one, the leg just isn't as significant in total body function as the brain is, plus surgeons have found alternatives to restoring blood flow to the leg.  But once blood flow is blocked to the brain, intervention is quite often too late. "Once someone's had a stroke, it's very difficult to restore that brain function and to restore that blood flow to the brain."

And that's why any surgical procedure involving blood flow to the brain is high risk.  Once the area is ballooned for stenting, Dr. Herrbold must act fast, because now, the artery is completely blocked. 

But, he can't remove the devices too soon, because the plaque that's been blocking the artery is loose and if it's not removed before the stent is in place, it could move to the brain, causing a stroke.

And while the risks during the surgery are high, the risk of not doing the surgery could be worse. "This patient's stroke risk would be approximately 10-15% per year with no intervention.  Now that he's had an intervention, that stroke risk would drop to single digits," said Dr. Herrbold.

Herrbold's carotid artery stenting is itself still in single digits, but he expects that number to grow quickly.  Especially now that patients can have the support they need right here at home.

Dr. Herrbold has now performed eight carotid artery stentings at Phoebe. The best candidates for carotid artery stenting are patients with multiple medical problems or heart problems, previous neck surgeries and radiation therapy.


Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=CarotidStents-KC

Powered by WorldNow