WK Treats Stroke by Removing Clot

Dec 13, 2016

Willis-Knighton Health System has successfully performed its first endovascular mechanical thrombectomy, treating a patient with an acute ischemic stroke. This was the first time the procedure had been performed at Willis-Knighton.

The patient, who was treated at the end November, was transported from an out-of-town hospital to WK Pierremont Health Center, the site of the health system’s center of excellence for stroke. Understanding that “time is brain,” the team performed the thrombectomy within two hours of arrival. The procedure involves removal of a thrombus or clot within the vascular system that is preventing the flow of blood. 

The patient was receiving care via telemedicine at the outlying facility where she was given the clot buster drug, but she was unable to travel the distance to the telemedicine location for further care. Neurohospitalist Dr. Alan Little was contacted at WK Pierremont and after reviewing a CT angiogram, he identified the clot in an area that could be reached by catheter. Dr. Little and the WK Pierremont stroke team coordinated efforts with Dr. Hugo Cuellar, a neurointerventional radiologist. The WK Pierremont cath lab team and anesthesia team were activated, and the procedure was a huge success.

The patient, who had complete paralysis on her left side, has fully recovered and has returned home to her daily routine.