DMC Physician, Patient Share Neuro Success Story

Aug 22, 2017

Many are familiar with strokes and the devastating effects they can have on victims. Strokes are the No. 5 cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States.

The best hope for a positive outcome from stroke is immediate care. As they say, time is brain.

Howard Moore, 68, of Modesto was at home on the couch and started sweating profusely. When he got up from the couch, “I was a little bit lopsided and flat out didn’t feel right.” His wife asked him if he was okay and if they should go to the hospital. At first he said no, but then thought better of it and agreed to go. A few minutes later he was on a gurney being wheeled into the ambulance and said he could tell from his wife’s face that something was drastically wrong.

Moore arrived at Doctors Medical Center and was treated by the E.D. team and physicians, and luckily for him, he was sent on to be treated in the new neuro-interventional bi-plane suite by Dr. James Jaffe, a Neuroradiologist who started in the area just a few weeks ago. Dr. Jaffe is a fellowship-trained Interventionalist who can treat many complex brain conditions, even life-threatening ones, without surgery.

Utilizing new, advanced bi-plane equipment that allows a three-dimensional view of the tiniest vessels in the brain, Dr. Jaffe was able to go in through a tiny incision made in the groin and thread a catheter (thin tube) up through the main artery and into the brain. He then inserted the catheter directly into the blood clot in Moore's brain and removed the clot.

Moore remembers very little throughout the process but does remember coming out of the surgery and a nurse telling him that he was going to be alright and his doctor affirming that yes, he was going to be okay. A little over 48 hours later, Howard was released to go home and explained, “From the patient standpoint it seemed like a cakewalk,” and that he felt so lucky because, “so many people in the church had strokes and the results were not good.”

Moore credits his faith and “timing and the blessing of the hospital” with his amazing outcome. “It was a totally total blessing because I know that today, I am a very active person and without them I wouldn’t be going climbing on ladders already. What they’ve done is a miracle. It’s a miracle what medicine has come from and is now at, it’s just amazing,” Moore said.

One of the benefits of this procedure is there are usually no large incisions, which can result in less pain, shorter recovery time and fewer risks than in traditional surgery. In some cases even better results can be achieved. This is a safe and effective alternative to brain surgery and can be used to treat aneurysms, blocked arteries leading to the brain, dangerous tangles of blood vessels (arteriovenous malformation) and other serious brain disorders.

Patients and referring physicians throughout the region now have access to some of the most advanced interventional radiology techniques to treat blood clots, aneurysms and strokes without sending their patients to Sacramento or San Francisco.

Moore’s story is amazing and without this new technology and Dr. Jaffe’s extensive experience, his story could have ended very differently. As Howard said, “I wouldn’t be active because I probably wouldn’t have most of my functions and people would be talking to me and I couldn’t respond back to them.”

“It's wonderful being at Doctors Medical Center to offer this groundbreaking therapy to patients within the Central Valley,” Dr. Jaffe said. “The administration, employees and the doctors here have been incredibly helpful in getting this program off to a flying start. Without this program, people like Howard would have devastating outcomes. Here at Doctors Medical Center, we are now able to offer life-saving therapy to patients with these conditions.”

Click here to learn more about Brain and Spine Care at Doctors Medical Center.

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