Dr. Santhosh Mannem, Interventional Cardiologist with Hannibal Regional Medical Group, and Dr. Imtiaz Ismail performed the first FlowTriever® procedure in northeast Missouri on September 8, 2021 at Hannibal Regional Hospital. FlowTriever® is the first mechanical thrombectomy device that is FDA-approved and built specifically for the treatment of pulmonary embolism.
In a majority of cases a pulmonary embolism is caused by blood clots that travel to the lungs from a deep vein (usually in the leg or arm) and may become lodged in the pulmonary arteries. Once a clot becomes lodged in the artery it blocks the blood flow to the lungs which can be life-threatening. Anticoagulants, commonly known as blood thinners, are the most common treatment for a pulmonary embolism. However, the use of blood thinners only prevents new clots from forming and will not breakdown existing blood clots. The primary way to dissolve or bust up an existing clot is with the use of thrombolytics (tPA) or “clot-busting” drugs. Treatment with tPA is associated with a higher risk of major and fatal bleeding and requires the patient to be transferred to the ICU for close monitoring.
FlowTriever® was designed to retrieve large clots from big vessels such as the pulmonary arteries. “This new device allows us to remove the blood clot without the use of tPA (clot-busting medications) in turn reducing the likelihood the patient will need to go to the ICU after the procedure,” shares Dr. Mannem. The FlowTriever® procedure is typically an hour long single session procedure, performed under conscious sedation.
Common signs and symptoms of a blood clot include shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fever, excessive sweating, and leg pain or swelling. It’s also important to know the medical conditions and treatments that put you at risk of developing a PE such as heart disease, cancer, surgery, history of blood clots, COVID-19, smoking, obesity, use of supplemental estrogen, and pregnancy.
A blood clot can be serious, even fatal. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as many as 100,000 people die of blood clots each year in the United States. “It’s important to understand that anyone can develop a blood clot. If you know you are at risk for developing blood clots, I recommend the following to help reduce your risk: regular physical activity, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and controlling medical problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes,” says Dr. Mannem.
Dr. Mannem specializes in treating patients with heart disease and peripheral artery disease. He offers a wide range of diagnostic services and treatments for general cardiac conditions, heart attack, heart failure, DVT’s/PE’s (blood clots), arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms), and vascular disease. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Mannem call (573)-629-3500.