BT recently published an article about five surprising medical uses for glue. They mention heart surgery, treating varicose veins and open wounds, fertility treatments, and surprisingly – treating brain aneurysms. Of course they’re not using glue like the stuff you used in art class, but the fluid has many of the same properties.
While traditional treatment is invasive open surgery through large incisions in the skull, which carries a risk of damaging the brain or critical blood vessels, doctors can now use a new superglue-like fluid which, injected into the aneurysm, quickly solidifies and cuts off the blood supply.
Rather than cutting through the skull, surgeons make a small opening in the femoral artery in the groin and track long catheters into the brain arteries, using X-rays to navigate. They fill the aneurysm with the glue-like fluid, which hardens as soon as it hits the blood, preventing any more blood from filling the blood vessel.
Whiteley says: “If you’re bleeding in your brain, in the past, a patient may have been opened up and had the bleed tied off. But now doctors can put a catheter into the bleeding artery and put a tiny blob of glue there instead.”