St. David's HealthCare

St. David's HealthCare is one of the largest health systems in Texas and Austin's third-
largest private employer, with more than 60 sites throughout Central Texas, including
seven hospitals, four urgent care centers, four ambulatory surgery centers, and two
freestanding emergency departments, with a third set to open in Bastrop this summer.

St. David's HealthCare has a long history of serving the residents of Central Texas
with exceptional medical care. Our 7,500 employees touch over 858,000 lives each
year with a spirit of warmth, friendliness and personal pride.

Visit our main website at www.StDavids.com

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Austin Woman Shares Her Story as to How a Second Opinion Helped Make Her Decision for Brain Surgery

2/12/2010 5:21:00 PM

31 year-old Clarissa Branham was seven months pregnant when she began experiencing severe migraines.

“I told my doctor about the episodes because they were happening two weeks apart."

An MRI revealed a brain tumor the size of a walnut growing in Branham's brain, threatening her and her unborn baby's life. She needed to see a neurosurgeon about removing the tumor and was due to give birth to her baby in less than two months.

Dr. Michael Webb is a Neurosurgeon at St. David’s Neuroscience & Spine Institute at St. David’s Healthcare. He says it's important to act fast, “The longer the tumor has a chance to grow the more tumor cells in there, the less the chance of being able to remove as much of it as possible."

After Branham saw Dr. Webb and got a second opinion from another neurosurgeon, both doctors told Branham to have the baby first and then have brain surgery.

Soon after little Avery was born, surgeons removed the mass in Branham's brain.

"It's very tiring, having brain surgery. you are just tired all the time. you feel like you can do something and then you get up to do it and you're just wiped out,” said Branham.

Now, just two months after her surgery, the mother of two is recovering well. “Everything went perfectly fine and I'm glad to be where I am."

A new online program could help people get that second opinion they need, sooner. The "Consultative Scan Review Program" is tailored to patients with brain and spinal disorders who need a second opinion within 48 hours.

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