Difficulty breathing, chest pain, and dizziness are all symptoms that can be linked to blood clots. Over 900,000 Americans experience these symptoms and are affected by Pulmonary Embolism (PE) or Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), collectively known as Venous Thromboembolism (VTE), meaning blood clots that occur in the veins. Up to 100,000 of them die, making VTE the third leading cardiac killer behind heart attack and stroke.

Traditionally, VTE treatments have included clot busting drugs that can leave patients in the ICU for multiple days. Los Robles Health System is now performing the INARI Flowtriever thrombectomy procedure. Utilizing a large bore catheter, a surgeon is able to safely remove large clots from a patient’s lungs. The updated technology offers patients a safe, effective, and efficient alternative to traditional treatment options. The procedure removes blood clots in a single session without the need for an ICU stay so that patients can recover with their loved ones at home. “This upgraded technology is revolutionizing the way we treat blood clots and is changing the paradigm of how we deliver healthcare to our community,” stated Dr. Gabriella Sherman, chief medical officer at Los Robles Health System.

In October, John Weisman, a 58-year-old male, showed signs of shortness of breath, elevated heart rate, low oxygen levels, and cardiac shock. Imaging studies confirmed a massive pulmonary embolism, which are blood clots found in the lungs. “With his diagnosis he was a perfect candidate for the thrombectomy procedure,” stated Dr. Sanjiv Goel, Interventional Cardiologist at Los Robles Health System. Dr. Goel performed John’s procedure and is thrilled to have this technology readily available at Los Robles Hospital. “Not only is the procedure precise, but it allows us to get to the root cause so that we can remove large blood clots that are burdening big vessels,” stated Dr. Goel.

Had Dr. Goel not removed the remaining clot burden, John would have had an increased risk of mortality. Now back to his regular routine, John stated, “I am amazed at how streamlined this procedure was. Dr. Goel and I had a great rapport and I am so thankful for the life-saving work he did. It’s not every day that you can say you left the ICU feeling ready to get back to your everyday activities and routine – and for that I am grateful.”