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. 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.