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Dr. Lavine’s Grand Rounds on Stroke Treatment

The audience of neurosurgeons at Dr. Lavine's Grand Rounds
Questions from the audience during Dr. Lavine’s Grand Rounds presentation

On a recent Thursday morning, the department’s neurosurgeons took seats in a lecture hall promptly at 8 a.m. They were ready for a Grand Rounds presentation by Dr. Sean Lavine.

Grand Rounds are educational programs for doctors, by doctors. Often, doctors who are experts in one particular subject will give their peers a thorough overview of it.

Dr. Lavine’s area of expertise is endovascular neurosurgery. Endovascular procedures are minimally invasive procedures that are done from inside (“endo-“) blood vessels (“-vascular”).

Researchers have been comparing endovascular and traditional approaches to stroke treatment for several years. Recently, there has been a flurry of studies on the subject.

(A lot of the studies have colorful names, like MR CLEAN, ADAPT FAST, ESCAPE, EXTEND-IA, and SWIFT- PRIME. If you wonder why the researchers come up with these colorful acronyms, just look at the studies’ full titles. For example, SWIFT-PRIME stands for…get ready… SOLITAIRE(TM) FR With the Intention For Thrombectomy as PRIMary Endovascular Treatment for Acute Ischemic Stroke. …Whew!)

Dr. Lavine explained these recent research studies and distilled the important lessons learned from them.

For instance, he explained that treating stroke with endovascular procedures can be an outstanding option. Outcomes can be better than with traditional approaches alone. But for this to be true, several criteria must be met.

First, the patient must see the right doctors—ones who are well-trained in these procedures. This includes highly trained endovascular specialists like Dr. Lavine himself, as well as Dr. Philip Meyers, and Dr. Grace Mandigo. The doctors must identify the “right” cases, that is, ones most likely to benefit from the treatment. And finally, the doctors must be able to begin treatment rapidly enough.

It is important, explained Dr. Lavine, to quickly gather the most important information about each patient and their particular stroke. That way the right treatment can be identified quickly and begun as soon as possible. The longer it takes for treatment to start, the more severe the effects of the stroke. That’s why it’s important for patients to be able to reach a department well-equipped to handle all types of stroke. (For more information about the importance of quick treatment, see our recent blog post Stroke Treatment: Time is Brain.)

The presentation was lively, as the other doctors listened closely and asked questions. It was a “grand” hour of continuing medical education for the whole department.

Learn more about Dr. Lavine on his bio page here.

patient journey

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