Patient's vision saved by Dr. Jeffrey Miller, high-tech imaging of Edward Neurosciences Institute.
From The Naperville Sun:
High-tech imaging a sight for sore eye
December 23, 2009
Judith Irons is no fan of hospitals. Since having cataract surgery 22 years ago, Judith, who has Down syndrome, has always experienced hospitals as big, impersonal and uncomfortable. Her recent stay at Edward not only made her comfortable but saved her vision.
It was about a year and a half ago when Maryann Urban, Judith's sister, first noticed Judith's right eye was wandering slightly. Over the next 18 months, Judith's eye had moved inward toward the bridge of her nose as far as it could go. And then, on the way to a family reunion in Wisconsin over Labor Day weekend, Maryann noticed Judith's eye had become red and swollen.
"At first, I thought perhaps she'd been in a draft and had a cold in her eye," Maryann recalls.
Judith was taken to an emergency room where she was given eye drops, but they had no effect. After returning home to Bolingbrook, Judith's doctor prescribed antibiotics, which also failed to clear up the problem.
The next step was a visit with an ophthalmologist who did a CT scan. The scan revealed a carotid artery blinding fistula. The ophthalmologist referred her to Dr. Jeffrey Miller, medical director of Edward Neurosciences Institute.
"This is usually a result of a blow or fall, which tears the artery," Miller explains. "The artery sometimes heals improperly to a vein, producing the high pressure of arterial blood pouring into a vein."
The pressure in Judith's eye was well above normal. In fact, the pressure of the blood in the fistula was literally pushing her eye out of alignment and would have resulted in blindness. Miller first performed an angiogram for a close look at the site, then used a procedure called onyx embolization to seal the leakage.
Onyx embolization, Miller said, really takes advantage of the top-flight imaging technology available at the new Edward Neuroscience Institute.
"The onyx material requires a very precise rate of delivery," he says. "Too slow and the material hardens in the catheter. Too fast and the material can spread beyond the treatment site."
Judith's surgery was a minor miracle, Maryann says. The moment Judith opened her eye after surgery, it was entirely back to normal placement. As a side benefit, Judith's balance improved, since her depth perception had been distorted when the eye was out of alignment.
Successful healing is often partly a function of patient comfort. Judith felt much more relaxed than previous experiences, Maryann says, because of the very unhospital-like setting.
"Overnight at Edward was like staying in a nice hotel," Maryann says. "There were curtains, a couch, a big wood entertainment center and good food. If not for the medical equipment, Judith wouldn't have known it was a hospital. It made the whole experience much easier on both of us."
For more information about the Edward Neurosciences Institute, visit www.edward.org/neuro or call 630-527-7730.
Naperville, Illinois (IL) - Edward Hospital and Health Services