BLOOD CLOT REMOVAL: A NEW APPROACH – A FIRST
From the News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton
Posted on July 9, 2014 by Stone Hearth News
Newswise — When a large blood clot was discovered attached to the end of a catheter inside the right atrial chamber of a patient’s heart, doctors faced a daunting challenge. If the clot came loose, the consequences would likely be catastrophic for the patient, who suffered from pulmonary hypertension – a dangerous narrowing of blood vessels connecting the heart and lungs.
But experts at the UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center (SCVC) are now able to save patients like this one from potentially fatal outcomes by using a new technology capable of removing blood clots, infected masses or foreign bodies from major cardiac blood vessels without performing open-heart surgery.
The SCVC is the first in San Diego County to use the AngioVac system developed by AngioDynamics. The AngioVac is a catheter-based device in which thin tubes are inserted into two major veins in the body through the neck or groin area. Under X-ray guidance, the flexible tubes are advanced to the proximal veins, right-sided heart chambers and/or lung arteries. Each is equipped with an expandable, balloon-shaped funnel tip that, when attached to a bypass circuit, vacuums the targeted material, such as a blood, clot out of the body.
“In some cases, medications can be used to dissolve blood clots, but this treatment option does not work for all patients, especially those who are in a life-threatening situation,” said Mitul Patel, MD, FACC, interventional cardiologist at UC San Diego Health System. “This new device allows our team to safely extract material, preventing the patient from having to undergo invasive, high-risk surgery.”
Open-heart surgery takes much longer to perform and often requires the surgeon to divide the breastbone lengthwise down the middle and spread the halves apart to access the heart. After the heart is repaired, surgeons use wires to hold the breastbone and ribs in place as they heal.
“Removing a blood clot through open-heart surgery results in longer hospitalization, recovery and rehabilitation times compared to the minimally invasive approach provided by this new device,” said Victor Pretorius, MBchB, cardiothoracic surgeon at UC San Diego Health System.
The AngioDynamics device does not eliminate the need for a surgery called pulmonary thromboendarterectomy (PTE) to remove chronic blood clots in the lung arteries, a surgery that cardiothoracic surgeons at UC San Diego Health System have special expertise in performing.
Nearly 100,000 Americans die each year when a clot breaks away from a blood vessel wall and lodges in the lungs or heart. Several factors can cause a blood clot, including certain medications (oral contraceptives and hormone therapy drugs), deep vein thrombosis, family history, heart arrhythmias, obesity, surgery, prolonged sitting or bed rest, and smoking.
The new procedure is performed by a multidisciplinary team comprised of anesthesiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and interventional cardiologists. Six patients at UC San Diego Health System have undergone the procedure so far, which can be completed in as little as one hour with patients typically able to walk and leave the hospital the following day.
“The success of this new device would not be possible without the collaboration of our colleagues dedicated to helping patients with a vast array of cardiovascular issues,” said Patel. “As the only academic hospital in San Diego County, we are excited about this new technology and what it offers as a new treatment option for our patients at SCVC.”
HOW TO AVOID BLOOD CLOTS
Learn How You Can Quickly & Easily Avoid Getting Blood Clots. The Right Way Even If You are a Beginner. This New & Simple to Follow Guide, Teaches You How Without Failing, the write up says.
Comments by Jeanne Hambleton
Wilson Zach has written a book under the above title. Published in 2014 and most of the chapters relate to blood clots as you would expect. Maybe a bit more worrying to the layman are the chapters entitled ‘Pain or Swelling in the Leg’, ‘Shortness of Breath and Chest Pains’, and “Bed for Long Periods of Time’.
The book is only available on Kindle from Amazon.co.uk if you want to delve more deeply into this subject. Having been suspected twice of having a DVT – Deep Vein Thrombosis and feeling like a pin cushion with tummy injections, it is a topic of interest to me.
I get the feeling the writer is Zach Wilson, not the other way around, and I think he lives in the States. Amazon gives us no clues I could find. Maybe he wrote this based on personal experience.
I have no wish to worry you but I read somewhere clots often develop in the lower body – a swelling in the leg. A DVT can develop when flying, so wear your air socks, wriggle your toes and move your legs often while flying.
My first suspected clot was when I returned from a four hour flight from holiday. I spent the weekend injecting myself with warfarin and had to wait until Monday for a scan. There is also the suggestion that blood clots may be related to high cholesterol. It seems there is also a danger after a gastric band operation. Maybe the hypnotic gastric band is safer even those it means playing with your mind. The problem seems to be knowing you have a DVT and if so where?
This is a topic we do need to take seriously. I lost my husband last year – a sudden death. He had shown no signs of being ill. The post mortem found a blood clot in his aorta which had ‘cholesterol debris’. So you can understand my concerns about this hidden danger. Some might say it is a great way “to go” but it is a huge shock for those left behind. The moral of that sentence must be get prepared in case. A sudden death can leave so many unanswered questions – where are the passwords – a sudden big demand for money to do the decent thing and so on. My advice is plan whatever age you are. Sadly I now know we are not invincable – trust me.
I guess if you do not know you have blood clot, you have no worries. So after all the chat, it is your choice whether you buy the book and live with the knowledge and maybe live in fear? I think I will just sit back and live a little and put my faith in clean living and good health. Yes I will leave it in the lap of the Gods methinks.
If you want more information about blood clots try these sites. Sorry I could not use their articles as they are copyrighted.
Hopefully I will be back soon. Jeanne