Ellen Fogleman’s brain aneurysm diagnosis was a surprise.
But her surgeon knew what to do.
Ellen Fogleman, 60, of Mountain Top, was walking with her sister when she started seeing black spots. “There was a big black square,” she explains. “And it covered a large portion of my sister’s face.”
Her primary care doctor ordered imaging tests, which showed an aneurysm in her brain. Ms. Fogleman was referred to Geisinger neurosurgeon Clemens Schirmer, MD, PhD.
Treat the aneurysm or not? The choice was hers.
“The diagnosis was frightening, but Dr. Schirmer and his staff were wonderful,” Ms. Fogleman says. “He answered all my questions and made me feel comfortable and confident that I’d be okay.”
If she wanted to move forward with treatment, Dr. Schirmer recommended a minimally invasive outpatient procedure. Ms. Fogleman felt it was what she needed to do. “I wasn’t comfortable with leaving the aneurysm untreated,” she says. “I’d always be worrying about it being there.”
On the day of the procedure, Dr. Schirmer inserted a catheter through a blood vessel in Ms. Fogleman’s arm. He implanted a flow-diverting stent to heal the artery in her brain where he’d found the aneurysm.
“I was in first thing in morning and home by 9 that night,” Ms. Fogleman says. “And the most amazing part is I have no scar from it.”
Back at work and feeling fine
Ms. Fogleman has been a UPS driver for 20 years. It’s a job she loves, even though it’s physically demanding. Her brain aneurysm procedure was done in March of 2021, and because regulations require drivers to take three months off after this type of surgery, she was back on the road that summer.
“I’m doing amazingly well,” she says. “I was shocked when they found the aneurysm, but they repaired it and I’ve had no problems since.”
Ms. Fogleman adds that she’s thankful she found all the care she needed at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, close to her home in Mountain Top, and that she didn’t need to travel for diagnostic testing, surgery or follow up appointments. “It was all done right at Geisinger,” she says. “Anyone who thinks they need to leave northeast Pennsylvania for great medical care should think again. It’s right in our backyard.”
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Learn more about neurosurgery at Geisinger
Meet Clemens Schirmer, MD, PhD