LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Baptist Health in Little Rock recently became the first hospital in the state to use a new device to treat brain aneurysms.

Brain aneurysms are more common than you think.

Dr. Sushrut Dharmadhikari with Baptist Health says back in the day, aneurysms required open surgery, long hospital stays, and a long recovery afterward.

That’s not the case now thanks to this device.

“It is meant to go around bends because it is so flexible,” said Dr. Dharmadhikari.

It’s called the Pipeline Flex Embolization Device with shield technology.

“It’s a flexible mesh,” said Dr. Dharmadhikari

Dr. Dharmadhikari explains how it works:

“They direct the flow away from an aneurysm itself, so the aneurysm no longer gets its flow, so they are excluded from your blood circulation,” he said.

The stent is coated with a special substance.

“It reduces the amount of clot that forms on the surface of the stent,” Dr. Dharmadhikari said. “In future studies, this will be looked at where we stop blood thinners much sooner in patients where we treat aneurysm with these kinds of stents.”

Dr. Dharmadhikari says he’s been pleased with the results, saying the device is easy to use and easy to deliver.

“It worked really well,” he said. “Our patient went home the next day.”

About 500,000 people in the world die each year because of ruptured brain aneurysms. Half of those people are younger than 50.