DMC specialist Dr. Andrew Xavier treats a patient's stroke and aneursym at DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital.
Stopping Stroke: Less Invasive Artery Repair
“I woke up early to work on my paper, and I noticed that my two fingers were numb. I didn’t really think anything of it at first, because I sleep on my hands, so I just continued to work.”
Graduate student Michelle Jones didn’t realize what she was experiencing: the onset of a mild stroke. Several days passed before she was sure something was wrong. “We were sitting in the kitchen and I felt really strange. I was trying to talk and but my mental flow was like it skipped a beat. I started slamming on the table, like ‘take me right now because something is wrong.’”
Michelle was taken to one of the nation’s best emergency departments: DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital. Doctors quickly confirmed she was suffering a stroke – a blocked artery in her brain, preventing normal blood flow. She was treated by Doctor Andrew Xavier, a specialist in interventional neurology.
These specialists treat blood vessel problems in the brain using minimally invasive procedures. They access the brain’s blood vessels using catheters inserted elsewhere in the body. Once they access the brain’s vessels, they perform a series of procedures to treat stroke and other disorders. They are able to remove clots, seal off bleeding aneurysms, and reopen clogged arteries.
Michelle not only had a blockage in one of the blood vessels in her brain, but an aneurysm as well – the walls of the artery had become weak and susceptible to rupture. She was faced with a high risk of more strokes in the future.
In the Catheterization Lab, Dr. Xavier used an extremely thin guide to reach Michelle’s brain, then deliver and position a stent to open the artery for normal blood flow. He then strengthened the area of the aneurysm to greatly reduce the chance it would rupture. Maneuvers like these take extremely specialized skill.
Post-procedure, Michelle had little or no pain. In a few weeks she began to feel like herself again. Today, she enjoys a much improved quality of life thanks to the cutting-edge procedures at the DMC, and to Dr. Xavier. “He told me ‘Michelle, you’re going to be fine. I think I fixed you.’ And that gave me confidence, and I felt a lot better.”
Doctor Xavier thinks considers the DMC “Leaders in the Michigan area. I think we are one of a handful of centers in the world using everything at their disposal to take care of these very critically challenged patients.”
Michelle also has praise for the DMC:”I think if you have this type of procedure the Detroit Medical Center is a good place to be. Here, they deal with all types of people and all types of situations, so you know they are thinking outside the box. And I think they do that very well. The care you get is top notch.”
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