What Is a Thrombectomy Procedure, and Why Is It Done?
A surgical thrombectomy is a procedure to remove a blood clot from inside an artery within the brain.
Blood clots can form as a result of the blood thickening and clumping within one of the vessels. As a result of the blood clot, the blood flow can be restricted or blocked. Decreased blood flow can damage nearby brain tissues.
How Is a Thrombectomy Procedure Done?
In a surgical thrombectomy, an IV is first put into the patient’s arm or hand to allow for delivery of medications such as a blood thinners and anesthesia during the procedure. If a patient has hair in the area where the incision will be made, the hair will likely be removed. Continuous X-ray imaging is frequently used during the procedure to guide the surgeon to the precise location of the blood clot. The surgeon will then make an incision above the blood clot, open the blood vessel, and remove the blood clot. A stent may be put in the blood vessel to help keep it open so the clot can be removed.
In catheter aspiration thrombectomies, the surgeon will make an incision in the groin and advance the catheter through the artery or vein to reach the blood clot within the blood vessel. The Penumbra JET 7 Xtra Flex catheter was one of the most widely used catheters in thrombectomy procedures prior to its recall in December 2020. The catheter’s distal tip is then placed next to the clot and negative pressure is applied at the distal tip of the catheter through suction. This is done in order to remove the blood clot through the catheter. Once the blood clot has been completely removed, the incision is closed and bandaged to conclude the surgery.
What Can Happen If a Thrombectomy Procedure Goes Wrong?
There are potentially fatal complications if a surgical thrombectomy goes wrong. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received hundreds of reports of adverse events stemming from the use of Penumbra JET 7 Xtra Flex catheters during thrombectomy procedures. The Jet 7 catheter was recalled due to reported distal tip malfunctions. When the Jet 7 catheter’s distal tip malfunctions, it can quickly expand to become multiple times the size of the blood vessel and create pressure on the vessel which can cause it to weaken. If the blood vessel becomes too weak it can rupture, resulting in substantial bleeding in the surrounding area of the brain.
Excess blood in the area of the brain surrounding the ruptured blood vessel can overwhelm brain tissue, compress it, and cause significant damage. Additionally, other areas of the brain more distant from the ruptured blood vessel can also be damaged, as those areas receive reduced blood flow due to the large amount of excess blood concentrated in the specific area of the brain where the blood vessel ruptured.
A stroke can occur when the flow of blood to part of the brain is cut off or significantly reduced. Since the blood flow is reduced, the brain cells are deprived of the oxygen from the blood which causes them to die quickly. This can cause a patient’s death or permanent brain damage. The severity of a stroke depends on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much brain tissue was damaged.
After the FDA received more than 200 reports of adverse events from thrombectomy procedures where a Penumbra JET 7 Xtra Flex catheter was used, Penumbra Inc. issued a voluntary recall in December 2020 of all its Penumbra JET 7 Xtra Flex catheters.
To learn more about the dangers of the Penumbra JET 7 Xtra Flex catheter failures, read the blogs from GoldenbergLaw’s Penumbra JET 7 Xtra Flex Cather Resource Center found below:
Penumbra JET 7 Xtra Flex Catheter Resource Center
- Penumbra JET 7 Xtra Flex Catheter Recall
- Have You Undergone a Medical Procedure That Used a Penumbra JET 7 Xtra Flex Catheter?
- Injuries Linked to the Penumbra JET 7 Xtra Flex Catheter Blog
- Rehabilitative Care After a Penumbra JET 7 Xtra Flex Catheter Injury
- Why Was the Penumbra JET 7 Xtra Flex Catheter Recalled?
GoldenbergLaw Can Help
If you or a loved one was harmed by a thrombectomy procedure where a Penumbra JET 7 Xtra Flex catheter was used, contact the Brain Bleed Attorneys at GoldenbergLaw today. With thirty-four years of experience, the attorneys at GoldenbergLaw will advocate for you so that you can receive the justice you deserve. Contact us today for a free Penumbra catheter lawsuit consultation and leave the sleepless nights to us!