Stroke Patient Recovers 'On the Table' Thanks to Stent Retrievers
New Procedure a Major Shift in Stroke Care
When someone suffers a stroke, blood flow to the brain is stopped. Time is critical. For every second blood and oxygen are blocked, portions of the brain can suffer irreversible damage. New technology designed to pull clots out may be highly effective at reducing a stroke’s life-altering side effects.
You might not expect a 43-year-old to have a stroke. But Robert Greene can be thankful his mom knew better. She recognized the signs and didn’t let her son’s relatively young age cloud her judgement.
As Robert walked into the kitchen one Saturday night, his mom noticed that one side of his face was drooping and he was leaning off-kilter. She knew immediately what was wrong and called 911.
“I just felt a little dizzy and clumsy,” Robert says. “That’s about all I remember.”
Emergency crews rushed Robert to a local hospital, but he was quickly sent out again to Aurora BayCare.
“They said Aurora BayCare had the best stroke doctor in the state,” mom Katherine explained. “So, they put him back in an ambulance.”
Robert received medication to break up the clot, but the treatment wasn’t working. Brain scans still showed a blockage, and Robert was paralyzed on his left side.
That’s when Dr. Ziad Darkhabani performed a relatively new procedure (still considered experimental until about a year ago), and inserted a stent into Robert’s brain. His goal: grab the clot and pull it out.
With the clot removed, blood flow was restored to the brain. Robert, who was awake during the procedure, was instantly able to move and respond.
“The most amazing thing about Robert’s story is that he improved immediately on the table,” said Dr. Darkhabani. “We usually don’t see that.”
For Robert Greene, this breakthrough procedure allowed him to return to life as normal with no permanent damage.
A stroke is considered a major medical emergency and patients should be taken to the hospital immediately. Strokes can cause long-term brain damage or even death if the patient does not receive emergency care.
According to the Stroke Association, strokes are on the rise among middle-age adults. But most strokes are preventable. By addressing risk factors like high blood pressure, inactivity, and smoking, people can reduce their risk. Doctors can also prescribe medications to help prevent clots and blockages.