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Thrombectomy for Acute Stroke

In August of 2004, the FDA approved the Merci Thrombectomy device for treatment of acute stroke. This "corkscrew like" device can be inserted into the fine arteries of the brain and can be used to retrieve a clot similar to pulling a cork out of a wine bottle. The treatment is done via a puncture of the femoral artery in the groin, and via a small plastic catheter the corkscrew is advanced into and passed through the clot. Once identified, the flow in the internal carotid artery is reversed and the clot can be pulled out. This FDA approved device has a 53% success rate and when successful can result in a tremendous improvement of prognosis. The risk includes bleeding, further stroke, and death.

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