Alex J. Linn, MD practices in the specialized field of neuro-endovascular surgery, which uses some of the most advanced cutting-edge imaging and surgical technology in medicine. Dr. Linn is a board-certified specialist provider for patients of any age at the Avera Medical Group Brain & Spine Institute in Sioux Falls, SD, located within the Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center.
Neuro-endovascular Surgery & Conditions
Fellowship-trained, Dr. Linn uses minimally invasive methods to treat disorders of blood vessels involving the head, neck and spine, whether it be on an emergent or elective basis. His specialty focuses on surgery with a remote incision (often less than a quarter of an inch), and using wire and catheter within the blood vessel to identify and repair the lesion area.
Neuro-intervention Issues Treated:
- Acute ischemic stroke due to large vessel occlusion (LVO)
- Blood vessel occlusions/blockages
- Brain aneurysms
- Recurrent subdural hemorrhage
- Ruptured or dissected vessels due to trauma
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage due to aneurysm or other secondary cause
- Some forms of head and neck tumors/cancers
- Some forms of hemorrhagic strokes
- Uncontrolled epistasis
- Uncontrolled extracranial tumor hemorrhages
- Vascular malformations
Neuroendovascular care that also introduces:
- Wada Test – pre-epilepsy surgery evaluation
Sioux Falls Mom Survives Stroke
On April 28 Alana Willis woke up after fumbling with her alarm, falling over, spilling dog food and coffee on the floor. Alana doesn’t fit the profile of someone who would have to be concerned about suffering a stroke. But in April she did.
Advancing Neuro-vascular Care
Dr. Linn is interested in finding innovative, new methods to treat previously untreatable neuro-vascular disorders, along with lowering complication rates of current treatments. One area which continues to quickly change is the treatment of acute ischemic stroke, particularly when involving the blockage of a large artery in the brain or neck, known as an ELVO (emergent large vessel occlusion).
It is critical to reduce treatment times when dealing with ELVO type acute ischemic strokes, and this can in part be achieved by widespread community education, partnering with EMS for better recognition and streamlining of care workflows once the patient arrives to the hospital. Although every patient is different, the constant factor is that when dealing with acute ischemic stroke, there is certainly no extra time available to lose.
His special interests include:
- Brain and Spine Care
- Stroke Care
- Minimally-Invasive surgical techniques
- Improvement of neuro-endovascular equipment & techniques
- Treatment options for ruptured and un-ruptured cerebral aneurysms
- Treatment options for arteriovenous malformations and fistulas
- Revascularization options for atherosclerotic occlusive disease of the brain, carotid, & vertebral arteries
- Large vessel occlusion acute ischemic stroke management & systems of care improvement
- Neuro-endovascular treatment options for subdural hematoma
- Cerebral venous thrombosis management
- Brain tumor pre-neurosurgical embolization
- Selective Wada testing for pre-epilepsy surgery planning
Helping Educate & Researching Treatments
Patient and family education is a priority to Dr. Linn, as he feels that a patient empowered with knowledge is better able to make proper healthcare decisions and take care of their neurologic ailment long term. To maintain a healthy brain, he advocates patients adhere to the three core pillars of brain health—which includes staying mentally, physically and socially active.
Dr. Linn has participated in several large-scale, multi-national research trials for stroke care and carries interest in smaller scale research projects as well. He feels it is important to continue this research so that the care of these devastating neurological disorders continues to improve.
The best part about being a physician is helping people in their most desperate times of need. Being able to make a difference in someone’s life is rewarding beyond what words can express.
Family Roots & Active Lifestyle
Dr. Linn provides care to the Sioux Falls community and the nearby region, which includes where he was born and raised in northeast Nebraska. His career success has been built upon the unbreakable foundations of his family life. Dr. Linn is a very motivated and driven person, and this is reflected in the passion that he exudes for his work.
He has always been detail-oriented, and this trait certainly helps him in his field of practice. His motto is, “We’ll find a way to make it work,” which he notes is a good reminder that perseverance often prevails. In addition to a passion for his work, he also has many hobbies which he enjoys, including various outdoor activities, travel, aviation, gardening and others.