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Billings woman fully recovered after having brain surgery while awake

Neurosciecne center.jpg
Posted at 7:45 AM, Jul 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-26 10:51:29-04

BILLINGS - A Billings woman has made a full recovery after brain surgery at the St. Vincent Regional Neuroscience Center.

St. Vincent neurosurgeon, Dr. Louis Ross performed the awake craniotomy on Kylee Macks in October of 2019.

Macks is back to normal and working at a job with the USDA, after recovering from surgery to help with seizures.

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KTVQ photo

"It's going really well actually," Macks said. "From after the surgery, I had a lot of loss in my arm, so pretty much made a full recovery. I'm left hand dominant so I had to relearn to write."

Her seizures started at the age of five, and she didn't have them again until she was 25.

"I didn't have any symptoms or any signs until I had my first surgery," Macks said. "I started getting blurred vision and some symptoms like that and went to went to San Francisco and got those taken care of."

That was at the University of California San Francisco in 2019, but she was not sure she wanted to travel back and so she met with Dr. Ross.

"She had a history of what are called cavernomas which are blood vessel tumors within the brain that can bleed," Ross said. "And so my plan and conversation with them in order to get this out in the safest manner possible was to do it as an awake craniotomy."

Louis Ross.jpg
KTVQ photo

Ross said the procedure allows him to monitor the patient.

"During the surgery as I'm taking out the lesion, we are talking to her," Ross said. "We're running through a bunch of drills. We're having her use her hand do speech drills and whatnot, just to make sure that we're not having too significant of an impact. It allows me to do a resection and hopefully not cause long term problems for her with her motor function."

"It was really nice to be able to just have my support system so close and not have to travel," Macks said about being close to her family in Billings during the surgery.

"At least as it pertains to neurosurgical type procedures, there are very few things that require an individual to leave Montana," Ross said. "Her weakness is completely resolved. We got the entire lesion out."

"Day to day life is pretty normal," Macks said. "And there's only one more to take care of and then I'm done. So that's good."

Proceeds from the Saints 2021 fundraiser will go to the neuroscience center.

The Day of Giving is this coming Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You can donate both over the phone at the 406-237-3616 or online.