Treatment of choice by mechanical thrombectomy for acute ischemic stroke


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Studies have shown that mechanical thrombectomy is an effective tool for stroke management, even in patients over 80 years of age

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

Dr Gaurav Goel, Director and Head of Neuro-Interventional Surgery, Institute of Neuroscience, Medanta, Gurugram says: “Every year few lakhs lose their lives due to stroke. It is the fourth leading cause of death and the fifth leading cause of disability in India. According to several studies. In India, stroke affects about 1.8 million people per year. Obesity, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption, illegal drug use, and smoking are common lifestyle risk factors for stroke. In addition, people with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart failure or an abnormal heart rhythm are at higher risk. Some other risk factors include a family history of stroke, age, use of birth control pills, or hormone therapy with estrogen.

“The first signs of a stroke include difficulty speaking, numbness of the face, arms and legs, inability to understand a conversation, headaches, loss of vision in one or both eyes, and difficulty walking. Stroke is a medical emergency; therefore, it is of the utmost importance to take the patient to the hospital as soon as the signs of stroke are observed for best results, ”added Dr Goel.

Commenting on stroke treatment, Dr Goel added: “Stroke treatment often depends on the size of the clot blocking the blood supply and the timeframe. For small clots, a clot-dissolving drug is given, which is only effective if given within the initial 3 to 4.5 hours. Mechanical thrombectomy has become the treatment of choice for large clots and offers a wider treatment window. Patients treated with mechanical thrombectomy within the first 24 hours of stroke symptoms onset have shown promising results. Mechanical thrombectomy can be used for any age group and studies have shown promising results even in patients over 80 years old.

“Mechanical thrombectomy offers a wider treatment window compared to medical treatment and has better results in terms of functional independence, health-related quality of life and cognitive function,” added Dr. Goel.

Symptoms may not be consistent, and the easiest way to identify a stroke is to ask the person to smile, repeat certain phrases, and raise both arms. If the person is not able to do anything right, see a doctor.

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

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