St. Luke's is Only Health System in Region to Offer Clot-Removal Tool for Stroke Patients

St. Luke's is Only Health System in Region to Offer Clot-Removal Tool for Stroke Patients

St. Luke’s is doing something no other health system in the region is doing. It is offering a new clot-removal tool to stroke patients called an endovascular thrombectomy.

“The traditional treatment is the clot-busting drug tPA (tissue plasminogen activator), which is given through an IV,” St. Luke’s Cardiovascular Services Coordinator Stan Sadenwasser said. “But now, St. Luke’s is the only hospital in the region with the expertise to remove stroke-causing clots.”

Stroke victims who arrive at St. Luke’s Emergency Department are immediately assessed and, if criteria are met, given a computed tomography (CT) and CT angiography (CTA). This allows physicians to determine the location and size of the clot. Large-vessel ischemic stroke patients may be good candidates for an endovascular thrombectomy.

This procedure is performed by interventional radiologists Dr. Morgan Althoen and Dr. Naveen Gowda in the hybrid operating room at St. Luke’s Surgical and Procedural Care. They insert a catheter into the patient’s leg and remove the clot, which can instantly restore blood flow to the brain.

“Time is critical. The sooner the patient is assessed and rushed into the hybrid OR, the better the outcomes,” said St. Luke’s Interventional Radiologist Dr. Morgan Althoen. “Having this new tool is vital to our patients’ livelihoods and it allows patients to have better recoveries since more of the brain can be saved.”

To learn more about the stroke care offered at St. Luke’s visit www.slhduluth.com/StrokeCare.

Below: Dr. Morgan Althoen and Dr. Naveen Gowda, St. Luke's Consulting Radiologists Ltd.

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