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It works by inserting as tube through the neck, rather than the groin, to reach the clots. Professor Sherif Sultan, an expert in vascular surgery who helped develop the new procedure, published in several leading medical journals, said: “This will transform the treatment of strokes.
“It is a revolution. It can be carried out in outpatient surgery and is very fast, limiting the chance of brain damage.”
“The longer a patient waits after a stroke the more the brain is injured. This fantastic device will deliver treatment almost immediately.”
Most strokes are caused when clots move to a vessel in the brain and block blood flow. Drugs can limit damage by dissolving the clot but they must be given within three to four hours of the first symptoms.
Other patients are also offered a thrombectomy which uses a stent to manually remove large clots from the brain via a catheter inserted into the patient’s groin.
Only 28 percent of eligible patients are offered this procedure due to lack of staff and equipment.
Researchers say that the new procedure – transcervical percutaneous carotid angioplasty and stenting therapy (TCAR) – is easier to perform. And it is believed it has fewer potential side effects as it uses a shorter route to the brain.
The 20-minute technique, which is awaiting European, UK and FDA approval, involves inserting a tube and stent into the carotid artery – the main artery to the brain – with the patient under a local anaesthetic.
The clot is removed and the hole in the artery is sealed with a dissolvable disc. The technique has been used on approximately 100 patients worldwide – less – 88 percent recovered fully and were discharged home within three days.
However, 12 percent needed rehab.
It is thought it could help half of the UK’s 100,000 stroke patients a year, in cases where the clots are big enough to remove.
Professor Sultan said: “Any surgeon familiar with vascular surgery can be trained to use this device.”
“It is simple, intelligent and much cheaper, and trials so far show it has far fewer complications.”
“This procedure also eliminates the risk of nerve damage to the brain and avoids an overnight stay in hospital. It means less pain, fewer side effects and faster recovery.”
In the UK there are 1.2 million stroke survivors, with two-thirds of survivors needing long-term care which costs around £26billion a year.
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