Todd Dunlap, 62, arrived at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center's emergency room on August 8 suffering from shortness of breath, fatigue and extreme cold. A CT scan revealed a 24-inch clot stretching from his legs into his heart, and doctors feared that it could break loose and lodge in his lungs, blocking oxygen and killing him instantly.
Dr. John Moriarty gave his patient a choice of having an open-heart surgery or undergo a new minimally invasive procedure using a device called AngioVac to vacuum the massive clot out of his heart, which previously had never been successfully performed in California.
For the procedure, a team of UCLA interventional radiologists and cardiovascular surgeons slid a tiny camera down Dunlap's esophagus to visually monitor his heart.
Next, they guided a coiled hose through his neck artery and plugged one end into his heart, against the clot and threaded the other end through a vein at the groin and hooked the hose up to a powerful heart-bypass device in the operating room to create suction.
Moriarty, a UCLA interventional radiologist with expertise in clot removal and cardiovascular imaging, said that once in place, the AngioVac quickly sucked the deadly clot out of Mr. Dunlap's heart and filtered out the solid tissue.
He said that the system then restored the cleansed blood through a blood vessel near the groin, eliminating the need for a blood transfusion.
--ANI (Posted on 19-09-2013)