Our Centre's Deputy Director (Clinical) and stroke neurologist Professor Alan Barber, sat down with Donna Chisholm from The Listener, to talk about the latest procedue in stroke treatment; Clot Retrieval Surgery.
Similar to a cardiac angioplasty, the procedure, performed when clot-busting drug Alteplase fails to work or cannot be used, consists of a mesh-like retreival device inserted through a catheter which reaches the brain from the femoral artery in the groin. The clot is then removed from the artery through both retrieval and aspiration.
The equipment needed to perform each procedure costs $22,000, and there are very few neuroradiologists who can perform it (in fact there's only 5 in Auckland). These facts explain why the operation is only performed in Auckland, as the rest of the country doesn't have the population or the labour and infraestructure to make this procedure sustainable.
Professor Barber is now trying to introduce this procedure in Welligton and Christchurch, as he deems it "the biggest advance in stroke treatment in 20 years".
*The entire 8 page article is available in the January-February 2017 edition of The Listener magazine.