Neurovascular Stents (stent assisted coiling procedures)
Neurovascular stents have been used for decades as a way to treat brain aneurysms. However, while these stents work well for some aneurysms, in others, the use of a stent can result in serious injury or death. In fact, one report found that nearly 20 percent of patients undergoing this procedure experienced an adverse outcome.
The medical device product liability attorneys at the Neumann Law Group are actively seeking patients who suffered serious injury after the placement of a neurological stent. We are offering free consultations to all affected patients, as well as surviving loved ones of patients who tragically died as a result of the procedure. With our help, you can effectively pursue a claim for compensation against stent manufacturers, surgeons, hospitals and other medical providers.The History of Neurovascular Stents
In the 1990s, the introduction of a neurovascular stent for "stent-assisted coiling" marked a pivotal advancement in the treatment of brain aneurysms. This medical innovation provided a non-invasive technique to tackle vulnerable areas in the brain's blood vessels. An aneurysm manifests when a vessel's weak point causes blood to balloon out of the vessel wall. A rupture in an aneurysm, especially in the brain, can have severe implications.
Traditional coiling treatment for an aneurysm entailed guiding a stint from the patient’s leg to the brain's aneurysm location. Once in position, a catheter would introduce a strand of soft platinum into the aneurysm. This strand would coil within the aneurysm's "bubble." Once fully deployed, the blood within the aneurysm clots around the coil, eventually occupying the entire aneurysm, negating the risk of rupture.
However, this method encountered challenges with "wide neck" aneurysms. Contrary to a typical aneurysm that resembles a bubble attached to a vessel, a wide-neck aneurysm appears more semi-circular. Instead of a small vessel protrusion, the wide neck type has a broader vulnerable area, causing a distorted vessel expansion. In these cases, the platinum coil introduction is not practical since the coil, being exposed to blood flow, would not stay positioned.
Stent-assisted coiling enhances the procedure by inserting a wire mesh tube into the artery before the coiling. This tube fortifies the artery's inner structure, ensuring the platinum coils, released into the aneurysm outside of this tube, stay within the aneurysm. This mesh becomes a permanent feature in the artery post-procedure.What Are the Dangers of Neurovascular Stents?
Unfortunately, a number of studies, beginning in 2010, have discovered that outcomes from stent-assisted coiling (SAC) are not as effective as first thought. An examination of 1,000 patients revealed that less than half were successful. Permanent neurological problems occurred in 7.4% of the patients. An additional 4.6% of patients died as a result of the procedure. A 2011 study reported that 19 percent of patients having a SAC procedure had a poor clinical outcome, including thrombosis and death. In 2012, a study of 1,500 patients revealed that nearly 19% of all SAC procedures resulted in a thromboembolic event.
Some of the problems patients and their doctors report from the use of neurological stents include the following:
- Stent Thrombosis: This is one of the most serious complications. A blood clot can form on the stent itself, potentially leading to a stroke. This is why patients who receive stents are often placed on antiplatelet therapy to reduce the risk of clotting.
- In-stent Restenosis: Over time, the artery can narrow again within the stent, a process called in-stent restenosis. This can lead to a recurrence of symptoms and may require another procedure to treat.
- Stent Migration or Displacement: The stent may move from its initial placement site, which could compromise its effectiveness or lead to complications.
- Stent Fracture: In certain cases, a stent can fracture or break, leading to complications that might require further interventions.
- Hemorrhage: There's a risk of bleeding during the procedure or afterward, especially in the brain, which can lead to a hemorrhagic stroke.
- Perforation or Dissection: The procedure to place the stent can cause injury to the vessel, leading to a tear (dissection) or even a hole (perforation).
- Hyperplasia: The healing process can sometimes cause an overgrowth of tissue inside the stent, which may lead to the narrowing of the artery.
- Infection: As with any invasive procedure, there's a risk of infection, although it's relatively rare with stent placement.
- Stroke: Despite being a treatment aimed at preventing stroke, the procedure itself or subsequent complications can sometimes result in a stroke.
- Aneurysm Formation: In some cases, a bulging blood vessel, or aneurysm, can form near the stent site.
- Access Site Complications: The site where the catheter is inserted (usually the groin) can have complications such as bleeding, hematoma, or pseudoaneurysm.
It's important to note that while these risks exist, they don't occur in every patient. As with any medical procedure, proper patient selection, operator experience, and advances in device technology can mitigate many of these risks.Neurovascular Stent Lawsuits
There are cases presently pending against stent manufacturers, surgeons, hospitals and other medical providers for a range of issues, from poor selection of SAC procedure candidates by physicians, improper insertion, and failures by the manufacturer in designing the device, as well as failures in disclosing the dangers of its use.
If you or a loved one has suffered complications, injury or death following a SAC procedure, contact the experienced attorneys at Neumann Law Group for a free consultation.Speak With an Attorney With Specific Experience Handling Cases Involving Defective Medical Devices About Your Case
To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, give the Traverse City product liability lawyers at the Neumann Law Group a call at 800-525-6386. You can also connect with us through our online contact form. Calling is free, and we will not bill you for our services unless and until we can connect you with the compensation you deserve.