Brain angioplasty in awake patients may reduce complications

Performing intracranial angioplasty on an awake patient allows patients to report unusual symptoms, which lets physicians immediately alter their work to minimize the risk of major complications, according to a preliminary study. In the study, the procedure ? called intracranial (within the skull) angioplasty ? was safely performed on 10 patients who were given local anesthesia with mild sedation, rather than the general anesthesia that is traditionally administered. Local anesthesia is injected near the access area to block pain impulses; general anesthesia induces a complete loss of consciousness.