Summer/Fall 2009 Issue

Defusing A Ticking Time Bomb
Endoscopic Brain Surgery Saved This Young Woman’s Life

brain scan - colloid cyst
A scan revealed a colloid cyst in Sandra’s brain
On June 17, 2008, a time bomb began ticking in Sandra Fleming’s brain. On that day, she was in an auto accident that totaled her car. Although her injuries from the wreck were not life threatening, the accident placed pressure on a colloid cyst that had most likely been in her brain since childhood. In the weeks following the accident, this caused spinal fluid to begin accumulating in her brain causing headaches, dizziness and blurry vision. Sandra had no idea a cyst existed and was completely unaware that she was in danger.

As Sandra’s symptoms continued, she contacted her primary care provider. Tests were scheduled for July 7, but by July 5, her symptoms had worsened significantly and she went to the emergency room at Carolinas Medical Center Northeast in Concord. A CAT scan revealed the colloid cyst. Sandra was admitted to the hospital and introduced to neurosurgeon Vinay Deshmukh, M.D., of Carolina Neurosurgery & Spine Associates. He and neurosurgeon Martin Henegar, M.D., immediately performed surgery to remove the cyst and relieve the
accumulation of fluid around her brain.

“The surgery was performed endoscopically through an incision less than an inch in size,” said Dr. Deshmukh.

The immediate surgery saved Sandra’s vision and possibly her life. “I was told that if I had waited two more days to go to my scheduled appointment on July 7, it may have been too late,” said Sandra.

She returned to work about a month after her surgery. Sandra now has follow-up visits to make sure the cyst has not returned. Each day she touches the incision point on the top of her head. “You can’t tell it’s there,” she said, “but it reminds me how lucky I am to be alive.”

To learn more about minimally invasive cranial procedures call 800-344-6716.

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