Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak has opened a clinic offering specialized care for patients with Chiari malformations, a structural defect in the part of the brain that affects balance.
“There are four types of Chiari malformations,” says Dr. Holly Gilmer, a neurosurgeon who will lead the new clinic. “The most common form is known as type 1 CM. While there is no cure for this condition, it can be managed. Surgery is one of the few treatment options.”
Here’s how it works: Resulting pressure from malformations on the brain and brainstem may block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and elevate intracranial pressure, which can lead to symptoms including dizziness, nausea, muscle weakness, numbness, loss of balance, increased heart rate, headaches, problems with coordination, difficulty swallowing, and chronic fatigue.
A surgical intervention, known as a decompression procedure, relieves pressure by removing the back wall of the skull and back segment of the vertebrae.
“This relieves pressure on the spinal cord,” Gilmer says. “Patients usually return to limited activity in three weeks and full activity in six weeks.”
For more information about the new clinic, call 855-424-4274.
IN OTHER MEDICAL NEWS: In response to the public’s concerns regarding highly communicable diseases like influenza and the Ebola virus, newly formed Beaumont Health has developed a new infection prevention community webpage providing a variety of informational and educational resources. For more information or to view the site, visit beaumonthealth.org/infection-prevention.
ADDITIONALLY, Botsford Hospital in Farmington Hills recently opened the Botsford Mohs Surgery Center. Mohs surgery, which removes a minimal amount of normal tissue, is used mostly to treat the most common forms of skin cancer, which are basal and squamous cell carcinomas.
Patients who have tested positive for basal or squamous cell carcinoma can call the center directly at 248-473-4828.