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Brain Bypass Surgery for Stroke Prevention and Aneurysm Treatment

A cerebral or brain bypass is a surgical procedure used to reroute blood around a blocked blood vessel in the brain to restore blood flow and prevent strokes. "During a brain bypass, a small hole in the skull is made to expose the area of the brain that needs to be treated," says David Langer, MD, Director of Cerebrovascular Research at the Cushing Neuroscience Institute. "The neurosurgeon then takes a healthy blood vessel from outside the brain and connects it to a blood vessel inside the brain to reroute blood around an aneurysm or a blocked or narrowed artery, restoring blood flow.  In some cases, a brain bypass can involve taking a vein or artery from the arm or leg and use it to direct blood around a blockage."

Candidates for cerebral bypass surgery include:

  • Patients who have arterial stenosis or occlusion, especially in the setting of Moyamoya disease
  • Patients who have an aneurysm that is not treatable by endovascular or conventional open surgical means
  • Patients whose medications are failing to control transient ischemic strokes (TIA) symptoms in the setting of carotid occlusion.

For patients with enlarged brain aneurysms which puts them at a higher risk of stroke during standard bypass surgery, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a new surgical laser kit called ELANA (Excimer Laser Assisted Non-Occlusive Anastamosis) that helps the neurosurgeon perform brain surgery safely by creating a bypass without shutting off the blood flow. The Brain Aneurysm Center at the Cushing Neuroscience Institute is currently the leading U.S. site for ELANA treatment and is also the national training center for neurosurgeons across the country.

Make an appointment at our Brain Aneurysm Center:
Cushing Neuroscience Institute’s Brain Aneurysm Center makes it easy for you to take the first steps in ensuring the best neurological care for yourself or your family. Simply email us at, call us at (516) 562-3070 or fill out our Request an Appointment form.