‘I have never seen anything like this’
Camilla Canepa was operated on by Gianluigi Zona, director of the neurosurgical and neuro-traumatological clinic of the San Martino hospital: “I had never seen a brain that was affected by such an extensive and severe thrombosis.”
The neurosurgeon on duty in San Martino that night was Alessandro d’Andrea, who also called the chief physician to his side at the operating table. “We decided to have a decompression craniotomy, in which the skull is opened to relieve internal pressure.”
Zona recounted the experience: “All venous sinuses were blocked with thrombi, a scenario I have never seen in my many years in this profession. Think of the venous sinus as the river in the middle of a valley where several streams converge. If a dam is built in the middle of the watercourse, the river swells and the tributaries can no longer drain at this point, so that the pressure rises upstream.