New neurointerventional suite opens at Palmetto Health Richland

Posted on 5/11/2016

Suite designed to give physicians most advanced technologies for treating neurovascular conditions

Columbia, S.C. – Palmetto Health Richland has upgraded its neurointerventional suite, an operating room that provides neurosurgeons, neurointerventionalists and their teams with the most advanced technologies in the state for treating numerous neurovascular conditions including acute stroke, ruptured and unruptured aneurysms and other conditions affecting the brain or spine.

The suite is equipped with the Siemens Artis Q biplane system, an interventional X-ray imaging device—one of the most advanced systems used in South Carolina. This system improves visualization so that surgeons can make more informed decisions as they detect and treat various conditions. This system also benefits patients since it is more efficient, enabling improved quality images at less radiation exposure.

The system may reduce time required for diagnosis and treatment. The suite is the latest advancement that continues Palmetto Health’s neuroendovascular surgery team’s ability to perform minimally invasive procedures.

Erwin Mangubat, M.D., a neuroendovascular surgeon for Palmetto Health-USC Medical Group, knows all too well that when dealing with stroke, time is everything. He said, “Traditionally, a patient with a suspected stroke would go to a separate CT scanner, and, if that patient was found to be a suitable candidate for intervention, would then be brought to the angiographic suite, which wastes valuable minutes. With the neurointerventional suite, we are able to perform those scans at the same place and then begin treatment immediately.

Roham Moftakhar, M.D., chief of neurosurgery at Palmetto Health Richland and medical director, Palmetto Health-USC Medical Group Neurosurgery, has seen the improved outcomes that technology and focus on minimally invasive surgery have provided. He added, “Years ago we had to open up the brain, and the patient was in the hospital recovering for weeks. Now, except for some extreme cases, we no longer have to open up the skull.”

Mary Pat Baldauf, a 48-year-old resident of Columbia, benefited from one of the minimally invasive procedures. She went to bed one night with a headache, thinking that she had had too much caffeine when actually she experienced a brain aneurysm.

“My sister told me that she found me unconscious on my bedroom floor when I failed to turn off my alarm clock,” she said.

Mary Pat was brought by ambulance to Palmetto Health Richland where interventional neuroradiologist Blease Graham, M.D., performed endovascular coiling. In this procedure, a catheter is inserted into a vessel in the groin area and other catheters are navigated through the blood vessels to the vessels of the brain and into the aneurysm. Coils are then packed into the aneurysm, preventing blood flow from entering it.

“The aneurysm was extremely small, only about one-and-a-half millimeters in size,” said Dr. Graham. “Without the kind of definition and magnification that you can get from the biplane technology, the procedure could not have been done as safely.”

“I’m beyond thrilled that the coiling was an option, and that I didn’t’ have to have my head shaved or scalp cut,” said Mary Pat. “From what I understand, it’s a cutting edge treatment that not every hospital offers. I have had a miraculous recovery, especially considering the dire initial prognosis my family first received.”

Moftakhar said, “After surgery, patients are left with only a small dressing in the groin area. Most can go home the next day, and they can get back to work in just a few days in most cases. It’s amazing that our technology and expertise have progressed so much that we now can do these things.”

For more information about Neurosurgery, visit or call Palmetto Health Neurosurgery at 803-434-8323.


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