Soon after being named head of Stony Brook's Cerebrovascular Center, Dr. Woo made history when he became the first on Long Island to use an innovative stent system to open blocked arteries in the brain of a patient. Joseph Chibbaro, 61, of Brookhaven Hamlet, despite appearing to be in good health, had an ischemic stroke in May 2007. After two days of testing at a community hospital he was sent home. He suffered a second stroke in August. Here is his account.
"I'd had good experiences with the hospital I had gone to, but when push came to shove, they couldn't get to the bottom of my problem," said Joseph Chibbaro. "Then I had the second stroke. My daughter found out about Dr. Woo and that he'd just come to Stony Brook. We met, and after some tests he told me I'd be the first person on Long Island to have a particular procedure. The next day, Friday, it was done. I was amazed they could do the procedure by going from the groin to the brain. On Monday, I went home. Three months later, just before Thanksgiving, I went back to my job as a bartender. Going back to work was a great feeling, and the more I worked, the better I felt. I can play golf again, and my swing is coming back. I'm very thankful. People are amazed at the way I look, and that I have no lingering effects."
Dr. Woo found that Mr. Chibbaro had high-grade intracranial stenotic disease, which can be unresponsive to medical treatment, and that the artery was 95 percent blocked. He implanted a Wingspan® Stent System with the Gateway™ PTA Balloon Catheter. It was the first such procedure done on Long Island.