Stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the U.S., affecting nearly 800,000 people each year.
Dr. David Likosky, a vascular neurologist at EvergreenHealth, shares information about our award-winning stroke program and the new imaging technology that's helping providers perform life-saving procedures for patients who have suffered stroke or other severe vascular conditions.
How has EvergreenHealth's ability to treat stroke improved in the past several years?
Dr. David Likosky: Because stroke care has such a narrow window for treatment, it’s important that we’re constantly innovating within our field and keeping up with the latest advancements in care.
At EvergreenHealth, we’ve developed a stroke program consistently recognized for exceeding the national standards. We accomplish this using a multidisciplinary approach.
That means that providers across departments—such as ER physicians, neurologists, hospitalists, neurosurgeons, radiologists and nurses— collaborate to provide the best treatment for each individual case.
Because every minutes is critical when dealing with stroke, we also provide Telestroke technology which connects patients with neurologists and stroke specialists at any time of the day or night to deliver an immediate care assessment. Being able to receive a neurological exam immediately after the onset of symptoms can make all the difference in recovery.
Tell us about biplane imaging, an exciting technology that combines the diagnosis and treatment of stroke.
Dr. Likosky: Biplane imaging is the latest technology used to diagnose and treat neurovascular conditions including stroke.
It enables minimally invasive procedures with the help of highly detailed, realtime 3 dimensional images produced directly in the interventional suite.
Biplane imaging uses two rotating cameras to produce detailed 3-D images of blood vessels, soft tissue and blood flow in real-time.
Providers can then use the detailed images to help guide minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and treat blockages, aneurysms or blood clots in the brain – essentially combining diagnosis and treatment into one procedure.
In the case of stroke patients, this lets us physically open blood vessels and remove clots, restoring blood flow to the brain.
Your team will be using the biplane for more than just stroke, correct?
Dr. Likosky: Exactly. What makes the biplane so beneficial is that it can be used in many areas of vascular disease, allowing our team to provide comprehensive care for even the most complex patients.
For example, our neurosurgeons are using the biplane to treat aneurysms. It enables endovascular coiling, which is a procedure that uses a catheter to guide a wire into an aneurysm. The wire coils up inside the aneurysm, stopping the blood flow and sealing off the aneurysm from the artery.
Other commonly treated conditions include treatment of narrowed arteries, cutting off the blood supply to tumors and arteriovenous malformations.