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U of L doctors use cutting edge technology to fight stroke

Doctor Edgard Pereira, University of Louisville:

"We go with a micro catheter which is very flexible. We go in the brain, in arteries of the brain to the point of the clot. We put the device inside the clot and it allows us to pull the clot down, to remove the clot."

Doctor Edgard Pereira of the University of Louisville is the first doctor in Kentucky to treat a stroke with the MERCI Retriever.

Approved last year by the FDA, the retriever removes blood clots, restores blood flow, and offers hope for certain stroke patients.

Dr. Pereira continues:

"We have drugs to dissolve clots, but that doesn't work all of the time…"

Pereira says the MERCI Retriever allows doctors to get to the blockage quickly and it doesn't require major surgery.

"It enters from the groin and we go under x-ray guidance all the way to the brain, and pull the clot. That's what's the beauty of this procedure."

Not all stroke patients would be treated with this device. Pereira says it depends on the age of a patient, where the stroke occurs, and how long ago it happened.

These factors also play parts in the patient's recovery.

"Everything around the area of the stroke is a viable area. Once you reestablish flow, you give to this person a chance of full recovery."

"…The contrast stopped here before. Now it goes all the way up. So you reestablish circulation with the device…"

The MERCI Retriever is the first medical device cleared by the f-d-a that specifically removes blood clots from the brain.

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