Thrombectomy is a medical procedure that involves the removal of a blood clot from an artery or vein. This procedure is typically used to treat stroke and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
What is Thrombectomy?
Thrombectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that involves the removal of a blood clot from an artery or vein. The procedure is typically using a catheter- a thin, flexible tube that is inserted through a small incision in the skin and guided to the site of the clot. Once the catheter is in place, a small device is used to break up the clot and remove it from the body.
When is Thrombectomy done?
Thrombectomy is recommended in cases where a blood clot is blocking blood flow to an important organ or tissue, such as the brain or a major vein in the body.
It is most commonly used to treat two conditions: stroke and deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
In the case of stroke, thrombectomy is used to remove a clot that is blocking blood flow to the brain. The lack of blood flow to the brain can cause significant disability, such as weakness or paralysis on one side of the body, difficulty speaking or understanding speech, or loss of vision. Thrombectomy can help restore blood flow to the brain, thus preventing damage to brain cells and decreasing disability.
For it to be effective and safe, thrombectomy in stroke should be done within 6 hours of the onset of symptoms so one must go to the nearest emergency room of a stroke-ready hospital soon as stroke symptoms occur. (Editor’s Note: Asian Hospital is certified acute stroke ready by the Stroke Society of the Philippines).
In the case of DVT, thrombectomy may be recommended if the patient has a large clot that is blocking blood flow in a vein, typically in the leg. DVT can cause pain, swelling, and may result in complications such as pulmonary embolism (migrating blood clots to the lungs, which may cause difficulty in breathing). Thrombectomy can help remove the clot and prevent further complications.
Thrombectomy may also be recommended in other cases where a blood clot is causing significant symptoms or is posing a risk to the patient’s health, such as in cases of pulmonary embolism or mesenteric artery thrombosis (which blocks blood flow to the intestines).
Ultimately, the decision to recommend thrombectomy will depend on an individual’s medical history, symptoms, and overall health. If you have concerns about a blood clot or have been recommended for thrombectomy, it is important to speak with your doctor to discuss your options and determine the best course of treatment for your specific situation.
Who is eligible for Thrombectomy?
Eligibility for thrombectomy depends on several factors, including the patient’s medical history, symptoms, and overall health. In general, thrombectomy may be recommended for patients who meet the following criteria:
- Presence of a large blood clot: Thrombectomy is typically recommended when a large blood clot is blocking blood flow to an important organ or tissue, such as the brain or a major vein in the body.
- Timing of symptoms: In the case of stroke, thrombectomy is most effective when performed within the first 6 hours of symptom onset. However, in some cases, the window of opportunity may be extended up to 24 hours.
- Ability to undergo anesthesia: Thrombectomy is typically performed under local anesthesia, which means that the patient will be awake but not feel any pain during the procedure. However, some patients may not be eligible for anesthesia due to underlying medical conditions.
- Overall health: Thrombectomy may not be recommended for patients with certain medical conditions that could increase the risk of complications, such as bleeding disorders or severe kidney disease.
- Age: Thrombectomy may be recommended for patients of any age, but older patients may be at higher risk for complications due to underlying health conditions.
What are the advantages of doing Thrombectomy?
Thrombectomy offers several advantages over other treatments for blood clots, particularly in cases where a large clot is blocking blood flow to an important organ or tissue. Some of the key advantages of thrombectomy include:
- Restoration of blood flow: Thrombectomy is a minimally invasive procedure that involves the removal of the blood clot that is blocking blood flow to the affected area. This can help restore blood flow to the organ or tissue and prevent further damage.
- Faster recovery time: Compared to traditional surgery, thrombectomy is typically associated with a shorter recovery time. Many patients are able to return to normal activities within a few days of the procedure.
- Lower risk of complications: Thrombectomy is generally considered to be a safe and effective treatment for blood clots, with a low risk of complications such as bleeding or infection.
- Better outcomes: Studies have shown that thrombectomy can lead to better outcomes in patients with blood clots, particularly in cases of stroke. Patients who undergo thrombectomy may have a lower risk of disability and a higher chance of recovery.
- Reduced need for long-term medication: Thrombectomy can help remove the blood clot that is causing symptoms, which may reduce the need for long-term medication to prevent further clots.
What are the risks of undergoing Thrombectomy?
While thrombectomy is generally considered a safe and effective treatment for blood clots, like any medical procedure, it does carry some risks. Some of the potential risks and complications associated with thrombectomy include:
- Bleeding: Thrombectomy may increase the risk of bleeding, particularly if the patient is taking blood-thinning medication or has a bleeding disorder.
- Infection: There is a small risk of infection associated with any surgical procedure, including thrombectomy.
- Anesthesia complications: While thrombectomy is typically performed under local anesthesia, there is still a risk of complications associated with anesthesia, particularly in patients with underlying medical conditions.
- Damage to blood vessels: In rare cases, thrombectomy may cause damage to blood vessels, which could result in further complications.
- Recurrence of blood clots: Thrombectomy may not prevent the formation of new blood clots in the future, particularly if the patient has underlying medical conditions that increase the risk of blood clots.
Thrombectomy in A Stroke-Ready Hospital
Thrombectomy has been shown to significantly decrease disability abd death in patients with large vessel occlusion strokes. Thrombectomy is typically performed within 6 hours of symptom onset, although in some cases the procedure may be effective up to 24 hours after symptom onset. It is important to seek immediate medical attention if you or someone else is experiencing symptoms of stroke. Prompt treatment can help minimize damage to the brain and limit disability. This and other stroke treatment options can be found in a stroke-ready hospital.
As a Stroke Ready Hospital, Asian Hospital has implemented protocols to ensure that stroke patients receive rapid assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. The hospital has a dedicated stroke team composed of neurologists, radiologists, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who work together to provide comprehensive care to stroke patients.
The hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and technologies, including a 24/7 CT scan machine, which can help diagnose stroke quickly and accurately. Asian Hospital also offers a wide range of treatments for stroke, including thrombectomy.
In addition to its commitment to providing high-quality care to stroke patients, Asian Hospital also focuses on stroke prevention and education. The hospital offers educational programs and materials to help raise awareness about stroke and its risk factors, as well as to promote healthy lifestyle choices and preventative measures.
Asian Hospital and Medical Center is a recognized leader in stroke care in the Philippines, with a strong commitment to providing timely, appropriate, and compassionate care to stroke patients. If you have concerns about stroke or have been recommended for treatment, it is important to speak with your Asian Hospital Neurologist to discuss your options and determine the best course of treatment for your specific situation.
To know more about the services, you may contact Asian Brain Institute at (02) 8771 9000 local 8444.