March 3, 2020 – St. Mary’s Medical Center is now performing awake aneurysm craniotomies. A weak area in the blood vessels can develop into a balloon called an Aneurysm, carrying an inherent risk of bursting.  This is treated either by coiling, or a surgical technique known as "clipping".  During this procedure, the skull is opened, and the aneurysm on the artery is clipped, preventing it from bursting and causing a brain hemorrhage
“These surgeries are traditionally performed under general anesthesia, but the clipping of aneurysms while patients are awake, is a novel way of treating this condition,” said Dr. Raghuram Sampath, Cerebrovascular Neurosurgeon on staff at St. Mary’s Medical Center.  “Having the patient awake is the most reliable way to ensure we don’t cause damage to the brain, while safely securing the aneurysm.” 
During the surgery, the patient does not feel pain, as all the sensitive nerves on scalp are anesthetized.  During the surgery, the surgeon speaks to the patient, and asks them to perform simple tasks, making sure their motor and speech function remains intact.
“St. Mary’s Medical Center is dedicated to providing the best care to our critically ill neurological patients,” said Chief Executive Officer, Cynthia McCauley.  “This is just another example of some of the great work being done at our hospital by our specially trained team and critical care unit, with the goal of providing our patients with the care needed to recover.”
For more information on the neurosciences program at St. Mary’s Medical Center, go to our website at
About St. Mary’s Medical Center
St. Mary’s Medical Center is a 464-bed acute care hospital located at 901 45th Street in West Palm Beach. The hospital has been serving the medical and health care needs of the greater West Palm Beach area for more than 75 years. 
St. Mary’s Medical Center offers a broad array of adult and pediatric services, including a Level 1 Trauma Center, a state-designated Pediatric Trauma Referral Center, Comprehensive Stroke Center and a state-designated Brain and Spinal Cord Acute Injury Center. Additional services include the Neuroscience Center, High-Risk Obstetrical Unit with a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the Institute for Advanced Orthopedics, the Rehabilitation Institute, the Memory Disorder Center, Kaplan Cancer Center, Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine Center, Schwartz Kidney Dialysis Center and the Institute for Mental Health. 
Pediatric services are provided at the Palm Beach Children’s Hospital at St. Mary’s Medical Center, which is the only dedicated children’s hospital between Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando. Along with 24/7 dedicated pediatric emergency and trauma care, Palm Beach Children’s Hospital’s medical staff consists of 196 pediatricians in 36 subspecialties. These include limb reconstruction and lengthening at the Paley Orthopedic and Spine Institute, pediatric oncology program, which includes membership in the Children’s Oncology Group – a clinical trials group supported by the National Cancer Institute, and pediatric orthopedics. In addition, in-house pediatric intensivists work with area pediatricians to care for children while staying at Palm Beach Children’s Hospital.  
St. Mary’s Medical Center is fully accredited by the Joint Commission, the nation’s oldest and largest hospital accreditation agency, and is a member of the Children’s Hospital Association. The hospital has won many prestigious awards, including the Tenet Circle of Excellence award.  To learn more about St. Mary’s Medical Center and Palm Beach Children’s Hospital, visit, or call 561-844-6300.