Neuro biplane catheterization lab

Providence St. Vincent Medical Center and Providence Portland Medical Center are homes to highly advanced cranial procedure labs. In these labs, without performing surgery, physicians can remove blood clots (which cause strokes) from the brain and can repair weak arteries (aneurysms) in the brain.

At the heart of the procedure room is a bi-plane camera. Aided by a contrast dye injected into the patient’s circulatory system, it snaps highly detailed photos of the brain and its maze of blood vessels simultaneously from two distinct angles, recording 30 frames per second. Colorful, real-time images of these blood vessels flash instantly onto a monitor where the physician can rotate the images to view the vessels from all angles.

Watching the screen, the physician threads a catheter from the patient’s groin through blood vessels of the abdomen, chest and neck to the exact site of the problem in the brain or spine.

Using microscopic tools, the physician can lasso blood clots, prevent a bulging aneursym from bursting, place a permanent scaffolding to maintain blood flow through a vessel, or block off the blood supply that feeds a growing tumor or a dangerous mass called an arteriovenous malformation.

Providence Stroke Center is the first nationally-certified primary stroke center in Oregon, and a leader in accessible, comprehensive, state-of-the-art stroke care, education and research. Providence Stroke Center cares for more stroke patients than any other health system in Oregon.

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