Strokes have always been a looming, scary thing to me. The idea that a blood clot in my brain could leave me impaired for years to come haunts the part of me that worries about the unknown. Learning about some of the breakthroughs in treatment in this area relieves my mind. Finding out about the team we have here in St. George is even better.
Thrombectomy is a way to remove the blood clot from the artery and restore blood flow. I talked with Matt Andrus who is a registered nurse in interventional radiology and works with the team here in Southern Utah.
“We go in through the femoral artery and we access that with a sheath to open up the vessel. And then we stick a wire up there, through the heart and into the brain and find where the clot is at. Then we shoot contrast up there so all the vessels light up and we can see where the clot is and where the contrast isn’t getting through. And then basically we send a catheter over the wire to get to the clot. Then we set up a suction device to be able to pull that clot out,” said Andrus.
It is amazing what they are doing. This is cutting edge and is making a huge difference in people’s lives. And we have a team right here in St. George getting it done.
"It’s pretty cool. It doesn’t work every time,” said Andrus. "Most of the time it’s pretty successful. We have good results.”
They have been able to clear a blockage that would have resulted in a lifetime of impairment. They have many stories of people who have been helped by the quick work of this team living and working here in Southern Utah.
“It’s a really cool job,” said Andrus. “I love it.”