Do you know what happens to your brain when stroke attacks? During stroke episodes, your arteries will either get clogged up and won’t be able to deliver sufficient blood supply to your brain, or it can burst and cause bleeding inside your brain. When dealing with stroke, time is of the essence. The option to remove the clots from the brain surgically is feasible only if the patient is brought in within three hours from the onset of symptoms. In the event that the patient goes beyond the prescribed hours, chances for medical treatment dwindle. Existing surgical and medical options are all well and good if you have one thing: time. But what if you don’t have it? What options do you have left?

A 71-year-old male British post-stroke patient came into Asian Hospital due to two stroke episodes that happened all within two weeks. Upon going in, the patient was no longer physically able to move. He was also known to have other complications such as bladder cancer, cardiovascular complications, and his body was already fragile due to old age. With such situation at hand, the patient and his family knew that the only thing they could hope for was for him to be stable again.

The patient’s case was handled by Dr. Josephine Tuason, Asian Hospital and Medical Center’s neurologist. She took into consideration all of the patient’s medical history in finding the best medical option that she could provide. After stabilizing the patient, Dr. Tuason ordered a diagnostic test that revealed the main cause of the patient’s stroke, an artery on the right side of the patient’s brain is completely obstructed, causing poor blood supply that, if left untreated, can cause permanent damage due to the death of brain cells.

Given the patient’s medical history, Dr. Tuason knew the patient could no longer survive another stroke attack. Dr. Tuason convened a multidisciplinary team of experts to find a way to save her patient’s brain health without compromising the patient’s other complications. The team was able to identify one medical procedure that can help the patient regain quality of life. However, this procedure is not widely conducted for such cases in our country. This caused the wife of the patient to initially reject the treatment. Dr. Tuason and her team explained that this option will not only stabilize her husband; it will also increase the chances of him being able to regain quality of life and counter post-stroke effects. Slowly, he will be able to move again, and his chances of having another stroke attack will significantly decrease. The patient’s wife later took a leap of faith and accepted the medical option presented.

With the concurrence of the medical team and the patient’s family, Dr. Tuason asked to conduct a complete workup to check for the patient’s eligibility to undergo a breakthrough procedure at Asian Hospital and Medical Center: cerebral bypass surgery.

The cerebral bypass is a procedure that aims to restore good blood flow to the brain by replacing the blocked artery with a brand-new artery collected from a patient’s scalp. This new artery will be connected to the arteries of the brain by tiny sutures using a thread so fine that it is barely visible to the naked eye. Once connected, it should provide the patient with immediate improvement in blood flow. The surgery was conducted by Dr. Guillermo Victorino Liabres, Asian Hospital’s cerebrovascular neurosurgeon and the first fully trained doctor in the Philippines to do the cerebral bypass surgery.

“What we can do in the heart, we can now do in the brain,” Dr. Tuason said. Just like a heart bypass, Dr. Tuason explained that they were able to prevent further damage to the patient’s brain by completely replacing the clogged artery, which allowed for the immediate restoration of good blood flow. This helped minimize the side effects of stroke and expedite the patient’s recovery. Two days after the surgery, the patient could feel movements on the left side of his body, and in a span of two weeks, he was able to move his lower extremities. Further, the frequency of medicine intake decreased, and the likelihood of developing another stroke attack significantly dropped, all thanks to his new unclogged artery.

Cerebral bypass surgery gives a new stream of hope to stroke patients who have severe side effects and complicated medical situations. With a multidisciplinary team and the best medical experts behind a patient, this breakthrough procedure holds the potential to provide patients with a better quality of life, even after stroke.

Asian Hospital and Medical Center’s Asian Brain Institute is constantly on the lookout for advancing medical treatments for neurologic conditions and ensures that patients will have end-to-end treatment plans at par with global standards that are closer to home. The goal goes beyond ensuring that patients are stable. Asian Hospital is committed to helping them regain quality of life—a life that is close to how it used to be before the disease.

Explore your options and talk to our experts today by calling us at (02) 8771 – 9000 local 5913.

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