NICE now recommends mechanical thrombectomy procedures to remove blockages in the cerebral arteries.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) decided in 2013 that the mechanical thrombectomy procedure to remove blockages in the cerebral arteries was unproven and risky. NICE has now reviewed the procedure again with access to data from clinical trials published since 2013 and has decided that the procedure should be made available throughout the NHS. Ischaemic stroke is the most common type of stroke.
Current treatment is to use drugs as soon as possible after the stroke to dissolve the blood clot, however this approach must be given 4.5 hours after the start of the stroke and only benefits 1 in 7 of people treated. Mechanical clot retrieval aims to remove the obstructing blood clot or other material from arteries in the brain. This helps restore blood flow and minimise or limit the damage caused by the stroke.
With the patient under sedation and local anaesthetic, or under general anaesthetic, a catheter is inserted through a large blood vessel, usually in the groin. The clot is located through a cerebral angiography. The clot retrieval device is then inserted through a catheter, and positioned near the side of the clot. The aim is to remove the clot as soon as possible, within a few hours of the stroke.
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