New Hope For Stroke Treatment

A new specialty called neurointervention is helping to make huge strides in stroke diagnosis, treatment and care. We spoke with neurointerventional radiologist Neeraj Chaudhary, MD, MRCS, FRCR, an Assistant Professor of radiology and neurosurgery, to help us understand this new specialty that is proving extremely successful in treating stroke patients.

Dr. Neeraj Chaudhary talks about neurointervention, which helps in the diagnosis, treatment and care of stroke patients

Dr. Neeraj Chaudhary talks about neurointervention, which helps in the diagnosis, treatment and care of stroke patients

Dr. Chaudhary works with a team consisting of neuroradiologists, neurosurgeons, neurologists, emergency physicians, vascular surgeons, physiatrists, neurointensivists, physical and occupational therapists, and speech and language pathologists to provide the most comprehensive and the best possible stroke treatment and care.

What is neurointervention and how are neurointerventional procedures performed?

Neurointervention is the treatment of neurological disorders in the brain and spinal cord from within the blood vessels themselves.

These are minimally invasive procedures in which the neurointerventional radiologist or neurosurgeon enters the arterial system through a small incision and then pushes a catheter through the blood vessel to the precise point of the clot or rupture. Through this catheter, the neurointerventionist has many options that can help save the patient’s life and limit the amount of disability the patient will have after the stroke.

Using neurointervention, we can quickly and accurately diagnose the type of stroke and develop the best plan for treatment. We can also deploy life-saving mechanical thrombectomy devices to open up blocked brain vessels, or place one of the many medical devices we now have available to us, such as platinum coils, balloons and the newer stents, or perform liquid embolic-assisted aneurysm embolization. 

What are the benefits of neurointerventional procedures to the patient?

These procedures are minimally invasive, which means less pain, less risk, less blood loss, less scarring and faster recovery time for the patient. Because the FDA approves the medical devices we use, the procedures have been proven to be safe and effective.

What type of facility does the University of Michigan Health System have for its neurointerventional procedures?

U-M’s Neurointerventional Suite is the first of its kind in the United States. Here, a team of neurointerventional radiologists, neurosurgeons and other neurospecialists work very closely together. Working together in one state-of-the-art surgical suite, we can detect and repair the wide range of neurological diseases – which is a benefit to the patient.

Why is neurointervention important in stroke care?

There are many factors, such as personnel, technology and facilities, that make a big difference in stroke care. As a nationally recognized Comprehensive Stroke Center, we combine all these factors, including the ability to offer neurointerventions, to ensure that patients receive the best possible stroke treatment.

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Neeraj Chaudhary, MD, MRCS, FRCR, is a neurointerventional radiologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiology & Neurosurgery. Specializing in neurointerventional radiology, neuroradiology and radiology, he has written or coauthored more than 100 research publications in the most prominent professional journals in his field. Dr. Chaudhary is very committed to using his vast knowledge of neurointerventional procedures to diagnose, treat and care for stroke patients.


Atrial fibrillation patient Jason Henning is riding strong

Catheter ablation results in increased endurance

jason blogThere was a time in Jason Henning’s life when riding a bike might have been a challenge due to atrial fibrillation. Today, he’s sharing stories of last summer’s 700-mile bike riding season across Michigan, Florida and Missouri. And he’s making plans for the upcoming 2015 riding season — which includes his fourth Pedal Across Lower Michigan (PALM) ride — confident he’ll be faster and stronger this year.

That’s because Jason recently underwent a catheter ablation at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center. He’s hoping the results will show close to 100 improvement in his A-fib condition. Ablation is a minimally invasive, catheter-based procedure performed on an outpatient basis to treat atrial fibrillation. Continue reading

Celebrate Go Red for Women: Learn your risk for heart disease

Meet three women advocating for women’s heart health

Be inspired by three amazing women Pam Mace, Diedre Todd and Aimee Bingham who are surviving heart disease.

Be inspired by three amazing women Pam Mace, Diedre Todd and Aimee Bingham who are surviving heart disease.

Women can do anything men can do. And when it comes to heart disease women are breaking barriers.

More women than men die every year from heart disease and stroke, making it the leading cause of death for women.

“The good news is that 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes,” says cardiologist Elizabeth Jackson, M.D., director of the Women’s Heart Program at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center and author of “An Ageless Woman’s Guide to Heart Disease.”

Campaigns like Go Red for Women, which celebrates National Wear Red Day on Feb. 6, inspires women to advocate for more research and swifter action for women’s heart health. Every minute a women dies from heart disease, and 1 in 3 women’s deaths are caused by heart disease. Continue reading

MedRehab helps 25-year-old stroke survivor get back on the move

Danielle credits MedRehab for getting her back on her feet and on the dance floor.

Danielle Jones, stroke survivor, credits U-M MedRehab with getting her back on her feet and on the dance floor.

The U-M MedRehab program is celebrating 25 years of service. Here, stroke survivor Danielle Jones shares how the program helped her get back on her feet.

At 25 years old I thought I had it all. I was studying for my Master’s degree in Secondary Education, coaching both a dance and high school cheer team, I also danced on a team and worked full time. In December 2010, my life as I knew it, was about to change drastically. I suffered a massive stroke. I was perfectly healthy. My right side was paralyzed and I lost my ability to speak. I spent two months at U-M Hospital, and then I was sent to MedRehab in March 2011.

When I first started at MedRehab, I was nervous and didn’t know what to expect. After a few sessions, being at MedRehab felt like being with family. They knew exactly how to make someone going through something like that feel, even though they themselves had never had a stroke. It was a great experience working with the staff at MedRehab, but it was eye-opening. It was frustrating when I couldn’t do something that I wanted to do, but I just had to stay on track if I wanted to succeed. Every therapy session helped me along the way. Continue reading

Honor “Mr. Hockey” by sharpening your stroke knowledge

Gordie Howe's severe stroke should remind all fans of what they can do to cut risk & respond quickly, says U-M Comprehensive Stroke Program doctor

Gordie Howe

Gordie Howe, at the December 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic in Detroit.

Hockey fans everywhere are sending their thoughts and prayers to Gordie Howe this week, as the legendary “Mr. Hockey” battles the effects of a stroke.

But there’s something more that all fans, and their loved ones, can do to honor Howe, says the head of the University of Michigan’s Comprehensive Stroke Program.

Take this time to play defense against a stroke, and know what to do when you or someone around you suffers one.

Eric Adelman, M.D., the U-M stroke neurologist who helps lead a U-M team that has the highest level of stroke accreditation in the U.S., took a moment to discuss what fans can do. Continue reading

Heart of a Hunter: What to do if a buddy goes down

Learn signs of heart attack, hands only CPR

Once hunting season arrives, every hunter should look out for his or her buddies. Although big meals, staying up late, and lots of smoking and drinking might be a tradition for many hunters in the woods, they can really drag a person down the next day. BuddyBlogImage.fw

Instead, treat the night before a hunt as if you were an athlete with a big game the next day.

Out in the woods, pay attention to any problems your hunting companions have. If you’re with someone and they start getting short of breath, looking pale, or feeling faint or nauseous – of if they feel sudden pain or lose feeling in any part of their body, get help immediately.

Even if the sensation goes away within a few minutes, don’t ignore it – it can be a warning sign that something even worse is about to happen. Call 911 from your cell phone if you can get reception, or radio to someone who can. Every minute you hesitate could mean your buddy’s life.

Warning signs of heart attack, stroke and cardiac arrest: Continue reading