Thursday, November 26, 2009
Medical Reports: Awake During Surgery
It sounds scary but staying awake during surgery may actually help the patient's outcome. It's all part of a new approach to preventing stroke. Seven's Richard Lemus shows us.
WSVN -- Having spent most of his life inside a restaurant, 55-year-old Jude Crosby knows his way around a kitchen, but he also inherited something else, a high risk of stroke.
Jude Crosby: "My mother died of stroke. A blood clot that was a pulmonary embolism."
An ultrasound showed Jude's carotid artery was 90 percent blocked.
Dr. Hernan Bazan: "If you have a blockage, those pieces of the plaque can break off and debris can go into the brain, and that's how you can get a stroke."
In the past, doctors put the patient under while they cleared out the arteries, but now some are performing the procedure while the patient is awake with local anesthesia and slight sedation.
Dr. Hernan Bazan: "I'm going to place my hand in your palm. Now squeeze my hand."
The patient can let the doctor know how his brain is functioning as the surgeon clears away plaque and opens the blocked artery.
Dr. Hernan Bazan: "The nice thing about that is you can talk to them during surgery, so you know exactly what's going on in the brain."
The surgery also avoids risks associated with general anesthesia. Jude's surgery was a life-changing wake up call, and a year later his checkups have taken a turn for the better.
Jude Crosby: "Oh, I'm definitely at a lower risk right now of having a stroke."
Now, he's following a recipe for a healthier future.
Jude Crosby: "Now, I'm just a ball of energy."
Richard Lemus: "Doctors say if you have a history of stroke in your family you should be tested early because the best time to perform the procedure is before patients begin to feel the Symptoms."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
LSU Health Sciences Center
New Orleans, LA
Tel: (504) 568-4806