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Neurointervention technique helps 60-year-old overcome partial paralysis

Gurgaon (IANS): A 60 year-old man, who suffered an acute stroke leading to partial body paralysis, was saved by performing a neurointervention technique at a city hospital, hospital authorities said on Saturday.

Rishi Sinha had a sudden onset of weakness last week and could not understand or speak anything. On being admitted to the Medanta Medicity hospital here, it was found that he had suffered an acute stroke leading to paralysis of the right side of the body.

An immediate CT scan revealed that blockage of a blood vessel was causing damage to the brain. Noting that Sinha was taking blood-thinning medications for his previous cardiac surgery and a clot-busting drug could not be administered, the doctors felt that his best hope lay in opening the blood vessel as soon as possible.

The doctors also conducted a specialised imaging, CT perfusion, a CT-based brain blood flow imaging to assess the possible benefits of opening the blood vessel.

The results showed that although some tissues were dead, a significant part of his brain could still be revived by restoring the blood supply. If it were delayed, however, those brain cells were likely to die in a very short while.

Dr Vipul Gupta, head of neurointerventional surgery at the hospital and the one who led the team of doctors for the treatment, said that the patient was immediately shifted for the specialised clot removal procedure.

He said that a very small tube was placed in the blocked brain vessel through the leg artery and a “solitaire device” was used to extract the clot from it.

“The procedure took 20 minutes to be performed and normal blood flow was restored. Thereafter, the patient started recovering,” Dr Gupta said.

He said that complete power had been restored to Sinha’s right arm and leg, with no difficulty in speech as well.

“This can also happen by giving thrombolytic drugs (intravenous thrombolysis) which act as clot busters and open up the blockage in the arteries, provided the drug is administered within 4-5 hours after the stroke,” Dr Gupta added.

“But these drugs cannot be given after the said period as well as to certain patients on excessive blood thinning drugs and are also not effective when a very large blood vessel is blocked.”

In such cases, the clot can be removed by neurointervention techniques to resume blood supply, he said.

Dr Gupta emphasised that it was extremely critical for patients to reach hospitals with these facilities within a few hours of the stroke.

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