Kimberly Derby doesn’t remember the ambulance ride or much about being in the emergency department.
But when she woke up from surgery, Derby was optimistic the dizziness and other troubling symptoms she had been experiencing due to a cyst in her brain would be resolved thanks to the care she received from Tidelands Health neurosurgeon Dr. Oluwaseun Omofoye and the team at Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital.
'I just felt unlike myself'
Derby, 47, had been diagnosed with a cyst on her pineal gland in 2013 and had annual MRI scans to monitor the area. Up until 2021, she had no symptoms, and the cyst located in the center of her brain appeared stable.
Early in 2021, the Myrtle Beach resident started experiencing episodes of dizziness, fainting, nausea, blurry vision and began repeatedly hearing a “wind tunnel” noise. Derby says she was forgetful and had trouble walking due to difficulty with balance.
“I just felt unlike myself,” she says.
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As a nurse at the Veterans Affairs clinic in Myrtle Beach, Derby’s symptoms interfered with her job and made it difficult for her to take part in physical activity. An MRI revealed the cyst had grown and was causing obstructive hydrocephalus – swelling in the brain’s ventricles.
Derby met with Dr. Omofoye and decided to move forward with surgery. However, before surgery was scheduled, Derby collapsed at work. An ambulance took her to Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital, where Dr. Omofoye and his team were waiting for her in the emergency department
“Dr. Omofoye was just amazing,” she says. “He was awesome to my boyfriend who couldn’t come in due to COVID restrictions. They went out and explained everything to him.”
Once in the operating room, Dr. Omofoye, assisted by fellow Tidelands Health neurosurgeon Dr. M. Daniel Eggart, performed a procedure known as an endoscopic third ventriculostomy to restore the flow of fluid in Derby’s brain and relieve her brain swelling.
During the procedure, the surgeons visualized Derby’s ventricle on a display screen and inserted instruments through the endoscope to make a hole at the bottom of the third ventricle.
“This drains the spinal fluid through a different channel so the hydrocephalus and high brain pressure can resolve,” Dr. Omofoye says. “After we did this, we used a flexible endoscope to look at the pineal cyst that caused the obstruction.”
Dr. Omofoye then drained the cyst and took a biopsy. Soon after she awoke, Derby could tell the surgery had been successful. Following the procedure, she received physical therapy to continue her recovery and improve her balance.
“I’m back to normal,” Derby says. “I don’t hear the wind turbines, I’m not getting dizzy, and don’t have balance issues.”
Advanced care close to home
Derby says the cyst could return in the future and require additional surgical attention. She’s glad to know Dr. Omofoye is available to address it, if needed, she says.
Dr. Omofoye is part of the expanding neurosciences program at Tidelands Health, our region’s largest health care provider. The health system is expanding neurosciences care as part of the not-for-profit organization’s commitment to provide area residents with the advanced care they need close to home.
“I can’t even stress enough about how amazed I was with him. I wanted to go back home to New York and have my surgery. I called Duke, I called MUSC because I was scared and just didn’t know what to do,” she says.
“But I’m very glad I stayed here and Dr. Omofoye did it. I don’t think anybody in New York or Duke or anywhere else would be better than him. I was that impressed.”
Dr. Oluwaseun Omofoye
Neurosurgeon, Tidelands Health
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Dr. Oluwaseun Omofoye is a fellowship-trained neurosurgeon at Tidelands Health Neurosciences in Murrells Inlet.Learn More
University of North Carolina, School of Medicine
University of California Davis Medical Center, Neurosurgery
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Neurosurgical Oncology/Skull Base
- James E. Boggan Resident Scholar Award, UC Davis Department of Neurosurgery, 2020
- Kaiser Foundation Hospital Sacramento Department of Neurosurgery Resident Award, 2020
- Resident Scholarship Award, San Francisco Neurological Society, 2020
- Elizabeth Bullitt Resident of the Year Award, UNC Department of Neurosurgery, 2017
- First Place, 2015 UNC Healthcare Quality Expo
- The UNC Medical Alumni Loyalty Fund Scholarship, 2011
- First Place, Biological and Health Sciences Oral Presentation, UNC Research Day 2011
- The June C. Allcott Fellowship, 2011
- Eugene Mayer Community Service Honor Society Inductee, 2011
- The John B. Graham Student Research Society Inductee , 2011
Meet the Expert
Dr. Oluwaseun Omofoye
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Dr. Oluwaseun Omofoye is a fellowship-trained neurosurgeon at Tidelands Health Neurosciences in Murrells Inlet.