Categories: Neurology

Mechanical Thrombectomy

What is Mechanical Thrombectomy?

Mechanical Thrombectomy is a type of interventional procedure of removing a blood clot from a person’s blood vessels (mainly cerebral arteries). The complicated process is only performed by an interventional radiologist using continuous X-rays or fluoroscopy where the surgeon is required to extract the clot from the patient’s arteries at once.

Thrombectomy is widely suggested by radiologists in the case of an arterial embolism which goes on to cause acute limb ischemia (restricted blood supply in that area) which causes a great amount of pain. Also, mesenteric ischemia is a disorder where the blood supply is restricted in the small intestine, can also be treated by thrombectomy.

So, one thing is clear, as common as the blood clots are becoming these days, mechanical thrombectomy becomes a very necessary and life-saving option for patients all over the world.

Blood clots or thrombus stops or restricts the blood flow in the particular area that they are found in so it is quite obvious that they require immediate medical attention.

Applications of Mechanical Thrombectom:

As we all know, thrombectomy is used to treat blood clots all over the body which potentially cause an arterial blockage. Here are a few more applications:

Ischemic Stroke: Blood clots can form in an artery that directly supplies blood or which is responsible for the supply of blood to the brain indirectly. In this case, the supply of blood to the brain is restricted which can cause brain stroke and within a few minutes, the patient can suffer permanent brain damage. Ischemic stroke is the fifth most death-causing condition in the western world and tops the list when it comes to long term disability.

Risks:

Like any other surgery, mechanical thrombectomy has some potential risks.

  • Excess bleeding in the time of or after the surgery which is fatal
  • Damage to the blood vessel while trying to remove the clot
  • Problems or reactions to anesthesia
  • Infection
  • There is also the risk of the clot travelling deeper into the blood vessels during the treatment

In spite of all of these risks, it is believed that thrombectomy is of greater preference during emergencies. However, consulting an experienced radiologist or a surgeon is really important before considering mechanical thrombectomy for yourself or for your loved ones.

Dr. Kaushik Sundar, Consultant Neurology, Rabindranath Tagore International Institute of Cardiac Sciences, Kolkata

Narayana Health

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