KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Doctors at the University of Kansas Hospital have made history with a procedure they used to fix a baby’s aneurysm with superglue.
Three-week-old Ashlyn Julian, from Olathe, Kan., was born on May 16. Her parents, Gina and Jared Julian, have three other children, and Ashlyn was a healthy baby with no signs of health problems after birth.
"She's a very mild-mannered baby. She doesn't really cry. She just kind of squeaks," Gina said.
Ashlyn's mother said she had a seizure and started throwing up a few weeks after she was born. They rushed her to the hospital, and doctors gave them the diagnosis.
"She has an aneurysm and it's already hemorrhaged, and that's just frightening," Gina said.
The aneurysm bled twice and was in the middle of Ashlyn's brain. Doctors said they are so rare in newborn babies that there are no surgical tools small enough for doctors to use.
“Just working in a very delicate situation to get that catheter in the right spot," explained Dr. Alan Reeves, with the University of Kansas Hospital.
During a minimally invasive procedure, Reeves was able to fish the smallest adult catheter through an artery from Ashlyn’s leg to her brain.
Then, Dr. Koji Ebersole and a team of others took a micro-wire through the catheter and delivered a drop of super glue to the bleeding aneurysm.
"The first time that super glue has been used to fix a baby who is so young -- superglue alone -- I think it's the first time," Ebersole said.
The doctors said the procedure was a success.
"We thinned the baby's blood so she would make clots on top of our instruments, which is risky because you don't want to thin the blood in the setting of a bleeding aneurysm, but we were going all or nothing at that point and I thought we could get it done," said Ebersole.
Now Ashlyn will spend a few more days letting the fluids from the aneurysm drain, but she is expected to make a full recovery.
"You can't even say thank you. I mean thank you is not enough, but thank you,” Gina said.