Four Maltese patients have undergone operations at Mater Dei Hospital in recent days instead of being sent to England to undergo delicate cerebral operations. The specialised operations were performed by neurologist Professor Steve Cordina who came purposely from the United States where he has been performing operations for the last 14 years.
Gozitan-born Professor Cordina returns to Malta every six months to carry out delicate cerebral artery operations on patients who are in serious risk of suffering cerebral haemorrhages because of a condition known as aneurism.
He explained that aneurism is when a brain artery begins to expand like a bubble and as a result of the collection of blood then bursts. This increases head blood pressure and this carries the risk of death or otherwise may cause a stroke. The head may also expand and cause death.
Cordina said this is a most serious condition which is fatal in a third of those who suffer it. This condition may be treated in a three-hour operation.
He further explained that entry is normally made through the groin as with heart angiograms or through a pulse. Generally, entry is through the groin area and up through the neck and thence to the head while the apparatus and material needed passes through a catheter through the groin, performs an angiogram and cures the aneurism.
Professor Cordina said that generally the majority of patients are cured and quickly recover and in fact are dispatched from hospital on the following day. He said the condition may be inherited and is mostly caused by smoking. He said there may be more people suffering the condition than is known because not everybody undergoes screening.
He said that over the last two years he has performed 13 such operations on Maltese patients, thus avoiding their having to be sent to England.
Most of his operations have been performed in the US where he has been living for 14 years. He related one experience in which a seven-year-old girl is now strong and perfectly healthy after he performed a brain operation on her when she was a baby to prevent a cerebral haemorrhage.