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UTMB Health Clear Lake Campus Hospital treats first ruptured aneurysm

A 72-year-old woman with a severe headache was treated in December 2021 at UTMB’s Clear Lake Campus Hospital for a ruptured aneurysm—a first for the south Harris County hospital.

A severe headache, like the one the patient experienced, is the most common presentation of a ruptured brain aneurysm, said Dr. Peter Kan, chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at UTMB Health. After she arrived at the hospital, doctors repaired her aneurysm with coil embolization, a minimally invasive endovascular treatment.

“We brought a catheter into the aneurysm to block it off from the circulation with coils,” Kan said. “She did great and was feeling normal the next morning.”

Kan said completion of the procedure represents a major milestone toward gaining comprehensive stroke center status at UTMB’s Clear Lake Campus Hospital.

Coincidentally, the hospital performed its first basilar stenting the same day and also treated and admitted its first ruptured arteriovenous malformations (AVM) patient. The hospital is certified as a Primary Stroke Center and is working toward Comprehensive Stroke Certification.

This milestone follows other recent advancements in neurosurgery at UTMB. In November, the Clear Lake hospital
began 24/7 neurosurgery capability coverage. UTMB launched its Department of Neurosurgery in 2020 and named Kan its inaugural chair. Prior to the hospital having 24/7 coverage in neurosurgery, all UTMB patients with ruptured aneurysms had to be sent to the Galveston Campus for treatment.

UTMB is now becoming a leader in complex neuroscience care in the region as Kan builds the program.

UTMB opened the Clear Lake hospital in March 2019. Besides its neuroscience capabilities, the hospital is a designated Trauma Level 3 facility and also recently achieved Chest Pain Center Accreditation through the American College of Cardiology following an extensive 12-month review by a multidisciplinary team of staff and providers.

In August 2021, UTMB was awarded with the American Heart Association’s Gold Plus Stroke and Target Stroke Elite Plus Honor Roll. The award recognizes the hospital’s commitment to ensuring stroke patients receive the most appropriate treatment according to nationally recognized, research-based guidelines based on the latest scientific evidence.