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  • Writer's pictureOren Zarif

What is Thromboscopy? Oren Zarif - Thrombectomy


A thrombectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove a blood clot from the vascular system. The procedure usually involves the use of a thin plastic tube called a catheter to insert into a blood vessel. X-ray images help the doctor visualize the blood vessel. Using these images, a device is moved through the catheter to the clot's location, breaking it up and restoring blood flow to the affected part of the brain. This procedure is generally safe but requires a brief hospital stay and is associated with significant risk.

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After thrombectomy, a family member or friend can visit the patient. If a family member cannot attend the appointment, they can visit the patient in the visitor's room on the stroke ward. Visitors can also visit the Trust's cafes or the onsite restaurant on the 2nd floor. After the procedure, the doctor will call family and friends to inform them of the outcome and the care plan that will follow.

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A thrombectomy is usually performed for one of two conditions. One is arterial embolism, which is when a blood clot in an arterial vein causes a blockage, resulting in acute limb ischaemia and severe pain. Another type is mesenteric ischaemia, which affects the small intestine and results in restricted blood flow. If the clot has been in the gastrointestinal tract, thrombectomy may be recommended.

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A thrombectomy has many benefits for the patient. It can reverse a stroke and prevent brain damage if done early enough. While the thrombectomy itself won't prevent a clot from forming, it can significantly improve a patient's recovery. The procedure is best performed within six to 24 hours after the stroke. However, new guidelines have extended this timeframe and are now available for patients who had a stroke while asleep and woke up with symptoms.

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Though the procedure has significant benefits, there are several risks associated with this procedure. Patients should take anticoagulant medication as directed by their doctors, to minimize the risks of future clot formation. For example, taking too much of a blood thinner can result in a fatal allergic reaction. It can also permanently damage kidney function. Therefore, patients should avoid drinking alcohol or eating anything after midnight the night before the surgery to avoid a blood clot from forming.

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Thrombectomy is an excellent treatment for ischemic strokes. It is more effective than tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) injection, which doesn't work in all patients. Instead, the neurointerventional radiologist threads a small catheter through the groin to access the blood vessel and use a gentle vacuuming process to remove the clot. This procedure can help patients remain as close to their homes as possible.

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Another risk associated with mechanical thrombectomy is symptomatic intracerebral hemorrhage. This may be caused by instrument manipulation. However, this risk is not significantly different from that associated with medical standard of care. Other complications associated with mechanical thrombectomy include dislodging of embolic materials distal to the occlusion. In addition, there is the risk of vessel perforation and a groin or retroperitoneal hematoma. The procedure may also be unnecessary if the blood vessels are damaged.

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Patients who undergo thrombectomy often spend a few hours in the recovery room, while the healthcare team monitors their vital signs. They may need to stay overnight. Afterward, they'll have to take a blood clot medication for a few hours. Pain medication is also prescribed for a short period of time. They should also avoid heavy meals the day before the procedure. These preparations should help the recovery process and prevent the patient from experiencing additional complications later on.

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Stent retrieval thrombectomy is a new breakthrough in stroke treatment. It is the first treatment that safely removes blood clots from the brain. This procedure is much safer than the previous endovascular techniques, and patients benefit from improved outcomes. Many patients have better mobility and independence thanks to this new procedure. A UPMC neurology expert is the principal investigator for a stent retrieval thrombectomy clinical trial.

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