Stroke thrombectomy service coming to Kent

A stroke thrombectomy suite is being built at Kent and Canterbury Hospital (K&C), which will enable specialists to treat some of the most severe types of stroke by surgically removing blood clots from inside the brain.

More than 1200 people a year in east Kent suffer from a stroke. More than 100 of these patients are likely to benefit from a thrombectomy.

Thrombectomy is a procedure in which specialists in image-guided surgery, known as interventional radiologists, use real-time x-rays to reach the clot and remove it from inside the patient’s brain. This can instantly restore blood flow to the affected area.

The procedure is only effective for some of the most severe types of stroke. Currently, patients need to travel by ambulance to The Royal London Hospital for thrombectomy treatment.

National clinical director and clinical lead for stroke at East Kent Hospitals, Dr David Hargroves said: “We are delighted to soon be offering a local thrombectomy service for patients in Kent.

“Stroke can be life-changing for many patients, leaving them with disabilities and a long rehabilitation journey. The faster we can treat a patient who is suffering a stroke, the better the outcome for them.”

The thrombectomy suite is due to open later this year and will be fitted with state-of-the-art imaging equipment to enable precision during the interventional procedure.

It will conclude the final phase of a three-year project to develop the Kent Interventional Radiology Centre. The £4.5million centre allows specialists to treat a range of conditions including blood clots, severe internal bleeding, ruptured aneurysms, fibroids and cancer.

Dr Robert Kaikini, strategy lead consultant for interventional radiology, said: “It is a privilege to be part of the team delivering this new and exciting service. The use of cutting-edge technology will be a game-changer for patients suffering an acute stroke in east Kent.”