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Dr. Dan Sahlein First in NYC to Remove Blood Clot with Solitaire Device

Exciting news from the Endovascular and Cerebrovascular Centers: Dr. Daniel Sahlein is the first physician in New York City to remove a blood clot using the brand new Solitaire Flow Restoration Device.

“The device had just become available to hospitals in New York City and specifically to us at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center when I was called about a patient at an outside hospital who needed our help,” says Dr.  Sahlein. “We arranged for immediate transfer to Columbia Presbyterian.”

The life-saving instrument received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval on March 2, 2012. Dr. Sahlein performed the minimally invasive procedure on March 24, 2012.

The instrument is inserted through a tiny incision in the groin using a thin catheter tube that is threaded to the location of the clot in the brain. The device has a self-expanding, stent retriever design that compresses and traps the clot. The clot is then removed by withdrawing the device, thus reopening the blocked blood vessel.

“I used the Solitaire stent retriever because the occlusion was in a very small, though vitally important artery in the back of the brain which is the sole supply of blood to much of the brain stem,” says Dr. Sahlein. “There was really no other good option for opening this particular artery.  Any of the other systems for treating acute stroke would have required a lot more time, with likely much worse results than the Solitaire stent retriever. The device is essentially a self-expanding stent affixed to a guide wire, it has considerable girth once open so it can clear out even large blood clots with ease. This combination of easy maneuverability and capacity to remove large blockages is unparalleled.”

The results of the clinical trial SWIFT (Solitaire With the Intention For Thrombectomy), which was performed to determine the effectiveness of the Solitaire Flow Restoration Device in acute stroke, were just recently released at the 2012 American Stroke Association’s international conference in New Orleans. The trial itself was halted almost a year earlier than planned because of significantly better outcomes reported with the new device.

“It was surprisingly easy,” says Dr. Sahlein. “I deployed the stent in the clot and waited the recommended 3-5 minutes to allow the clot to adhere to the stent retriever. I withdrew the deployed stent and the critical artery that had been completely blocked was 100% opened. The clot looked quite small on the stent retriever device, but it is amazing how much damage such a tiny clot can cause.”

Dr. Sahlein only recently joined the team at Columbia. “I started in September 2012 after 8 years of training and board certifications in Neurology, Radiology, Diagnostic Neuroradiology and additional training in Interventional Neuroradiology. Working with the world class neurovascular team of Drs. Solomon, Connolly, Lavine, and Meyers has been extremely exciting and rewarding.”

patient journey

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