New Procedure Available in River Valley Only at Sparks


Imagine trying to get through your day with a severe headache or double vision. Now imagine you’re a truck driver or surgical nurse. Symptoms of an aneurysm, a weakened area in a brain artery, can be debilitating and if they rupture, fatal. 

Two patients, a woman from Amity, Ark., and a man from Hugo, Okla., can move on with their day-to-day lives thanks to an innovative surgical procedure for treating giant aneurysms now available in the River Valley only at Sparks Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Clint Wood, MD, an Interventional Neuro-Radiologist, recently performed the groundbreaking operations using the Pipeline™ Embolization Device (PED).

During the surgery, a wire mesh tube is placed across the neck of the aneurysm to redirect blood flow and seal off the aneurysm from the parent artery, keeping it from rupturing.

“This device allows us to take people with what were considered inoperable lesions and repair them in sometimes less than an hour. It’s amazing technology,” Dr. Wood said.

Both patients were cleared to go home the next day. The only other place in the state utilizing this technology is UAMS in Little Rock, where Dr. Wood completed his residency and fellowship. The highly regulated PED was approved by the FDA in 2011.

This is just one of the many advances Sparks Health System has made in the field of neurovascular medicine. Just last year, Sparks physicians performed the area’s first minimally invasive brain aneurysm coiling procedure and minimally invasive brain clot removal using the Solitaire™ FR Revascularization Device and clot-busting drug therapy known as a tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). The hospital is the only place in western Arkansas where this kind of care is available.

Because of these advances, Sparks Regional Medical Center became a certified training center for Advanced Stroke Life Support in 2013.