Mechanical Thrombectomy Treatment of Choice for Acute Ischemic Stroke

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Dr Gaurav Goyel

Studies have shown that a mechanical thrombectomy is an effective tool for stroke management even in patients above 80 years of ages.

Stroke is a medical condition in which blood supply to the brain is affected depriving the brain of oxygen and nutrients. In the absence of oxygen and nutrients, brain cells start dying within minutes, making it an emergency condition. Delay in treatment often leads to irreversible brain damage and even death in some cases.

Dr. Gaurav Goel, Director & Head – Neuro Interventional Surgery, Institute of Neurosciences, Medanta, Gurugram says, “Every year few lakh people lose their lives to Stroke. It is the fourth leading cause of death and the fifth leading cause of disability in India. As per multiple studies. In India, stroke affects around 1.8 million people annually. Obesity, physical inactivity, excessive drinking, use of illegal drugs, and smoking are common lifestyle risk factors for stroke. Additionally, people with medical conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart failure, abnormal heart rhythm are at a higher risk. Some other risk factors include a family history of stroke, age, use of birth control pills or hormone therapy with estrogen.”

Speaking on the treatment of Stroke, Dr. Goel added, “Treatment of stroke often depends on the size of the clot blocking the blood supply and time frame. For small clots, clot dissolving drug is given which is only effective if provided within initial 3 to 4.5 hours. Mechanical thrombectomy has become a treatment of choice for large clots and provides a wider treatment window. Patients treated with mechanical thrombectomy in the initial 24 hours from the beginning of stroke symptoms have shown promising outcomes. Mechanical thrombectomy can be used for any age group and studies have shown promising results even in patients above 80 years old.”
“The mechanical thrombectomy provides a larger treatment window compared to medical treatment and has better outcomes in terms of functional independence, health-related quality of life, and cognitive function.”, added Dr. Goel.

Symptoms may not be consistent and the simplest way of identifying stroke is to ask the person to smile, repeat some phrases and raise both arms. If the person is not able to do anything correctly, seek medical attention.

Mechanical thrombectomy is a minimally invasive surgery in which the surgeon uses special equipment to remove the clot and restore the blood supply to the brain. The procedure is performed under imaging guidance.