neurosurgeon in operating room

Mechanical Thrombectomy

Our vascular neurosurgery program also performs mechanical thrombectomy – an advanced interventional procedure available to acute ischemic stroke patients.

With mechanical thrombectomy, a blood clot is removed from a person’s brain with an instrument, called a stent retriever, by opening the intracranial vessels after a large debilitating stroke.

Here’s how the interventional procedure works:

  • A catheter is threaded into an artery in the groin and up through the neck, until it reaches the blood clot causing the stroke.
  • Using x-ray guided imaging, a stent retriever is inserted into the catheter.
  • The stent reaches past the clot, expands to stretch the walls of the artery so blood can flow and is “retrieved” – or pulled backwards – which removes the clot.

Led by central Iowa’s only fellowship-trained vascular neurosurgeon, Einar Bogason, M.D., cerebrovascular and endovascular medical director of the Mercy Stroke Program, this procedure is considered as a breakthrough in stroke treatment, resulting in improved outcomes for stroke patients by reducing stroke-related disability and mortality.

Behind Dr. Bogason is a team of multiple specialists, including: Michael Jacoby, M.D., a fellowship-trained vascular neurologist and medical director of the Mercy Stroke Program; Terri Hamm, stroke coordinator; and staff in the Emergency Department, neurosurgery, neurology, imaging, radiology, rehabilitation and the Neuro Trauma Medical Intensive Care Unit (NTICU).

Mercy is proud to be one of only two thrombectomy centers in the state of Iowa (only one located in central Iowa), to offer this state-of-the-art stroke care to our patients.

Thrombectomy Candidate Criteria

Mechanical thrombectomy may be considered for selective patients through the following:

  • Rapid identification of stroke-like symptoms and transfer to the nearest stroke capable hospital.
  • Emergent initiation of Activase (t-PA) in appropriately selected patients.
  • If severity of stroke is significant (high NIH score), timing up to 24 from onset and imaging criteria is met, patients may be a candidate for intervention. Emergent transfer is vital.
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