Two years ago Melva Lehenbauer of Hannibal, Missouri developed a sore and swollen leg that resulted in her being diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and a pulmonary embolism (PE), which are blood clots in her leg and lung. At the time Hannibal Regional did not have the resources for removing the clots so she was sent to Columbia, Missouri for treatment. The specialists in Columbia deemed the removal of the clots too risky so they were treated with medication instead.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago and out of nowhere, Melva began having trouble breathing as she was entering the grocery store. Another shopper noticed her struggling and helped her back to her car. The good samaritan suggested she go to the hospital as her condition seemed very serious. Melva took their advice and drove straight to Hannibal Regional Hospital.
It was determined that Melva had developed another PE, but by this time Hannibal Regional Hospital had the resources available to remove the clot immediately. The procedure is known as a surgical thrombectomy. “Pulmonary embolism is one of the most dreadful conditions, especially ones with large amounts of clots. Removing the clots using the catheter system improves symptoms such as shortness of breath or the requirement of supplemental oxygen instantaneously and in some patients saves their lives,” explains Dr. Santhosh Mannem, interventional cardiologist at Hannibal Regional.
“I arrived at the hospital around 8:30 am, and they had me in surgery by 11:00 am that same day,” Melva said about the prompt care she received at Hannibal Regional Hospital. “I was awake during the procedure, and surprised by the fact that I didn’t feel a thing, it was completely painless.” Melva says she felt relief from her shortness of breath immediately after the procedure.
“Dr. Mannem seemed very knowledgeable about the procedure, I felt extremely comfortable that I was in good hands,” says Melva. “People think you need to leave town for a specialist, but we have great ones right here in Hannibal.” Melva says the ability to have this blood clot taken care of without having to travel was very convenient for her and her family.
For more information about surgical thrombectomy procedures or to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist, call (573) 629-3500.