Carolyn Dennis: I went to a local hospital and they said, “Oh it's just a nosebleed, you will be fine.” I went home and a couple of days later that nosebleed happened again and it was a lot of bleeding, and I went back to emergency and told them and they checked me and they said, “Oh you're fine,” and I knew I wasn't. I knew it was more than a nosebleed, so I called Mayo Clinic.

Bernard B. Bendok, M.D., Chair, Department of Neurological Surgery, William J. and Charles H. Mayo Professor, Mayo Clinic in Arizona: She was in a very critical condition. She has a history of a very challenging tumor of the head and neck. Mrs. Dennis had radiation therapy. Radiation has the side effect of weakening some of the tissues. One of her arteries was really exposed to the nose and mouth on its way up to the brain. There can be a leak and that leak can be fatal. The location of the bleed was right at the area where the artery went into the skull to go and supply the brain, so it was a very challenging location.

Carolyn Dennis: I also knew that there was hope. I was happy to hear Dr. Bendok say that he had a solution.

Bernard B. Bendok, M.D.: We took her to our new hybrid OR where the best of radiology imaging comes together with the best of surgical imaging to create a precision plan around this leak in the artery, so on the neurosurgery side we were able to image the artery perfectly, show exactly where the pinhole is and then use that data to navigate the scope so we now have a GPS — so to speak — based on that real-time imaging of where the leak is, place the tissue and then place a stent at the same time.

I'm convinced that Mrs. Dennis would not be alive had it not been for these new image-guided ORs that allowed us to pinpoint the area of bleeding in a very precise and safe manner.

Carolyn Dennis: If you're going to be careful or you want to be in the right place, Mayo Clinic was definitely the right choice for me because I'm sitting here today.

May 05, 2022