New Delhi: 75-year-old lady Rukmani Garga was on the brink of stroke. As she showed signs of Transient Ischemic Attacks ( TIAs) also known as mini strokes, doctors of Indraprastha Apollo moved fast to save her from impending catastrophe. TIAs are precursor to upcoming stroke. The masterstroke gave her a new lease of life.
After signs of TIAs, immediate medical intervention effectively averts the debilitating full blown stroke. Dr P.N. Renjen, Senior Consultant, Neurology, Indraprastha Apollo and his team successfully operated her to avert the crisis.
Explaining about Mrs. Garg’s condition, Dr. Renjen said, ‘When Mrs Garg visited the hospital she had terrible pain in her shoulder and numbness in her left arm. There was slurring in her speech too. After examining her CT scan and DSA reports, we got to know that her right carotid artery is 80 – 90 percent blocked causing repeated minor strokes. The patient also had a medical history of diabetes, hypertension, CAD-Post PTCA (Coronary Angioplasty) and hypothyroidism. Only her right kidney was functional and she was undergoing treatment for the same. In order to prevent her from having an actual stroke we decided to operate and insert a stent in her artery immediately.’
‘Considering the patient’s medical history, we had to be extra careful while performing the procedure. If the surgery is not done carefully, there were chances that she might get a stroke on the operating table or re-stenosis (re-blockage) in the artery. These are complications that a surgeon needs to be very careful of,’ added Dr. Renjen explaining the criticality of the procedure.
The carotid artery is a major blood vessel in the neck that supplies blood to the brain, neck, and face.
Explaining the cause of this condition, Dr. Renjen said, ‘Transient Ischemic Attacks (TIAs) just like an ischemic stroke occur due to the narrowing of carotid artery. Cholesterol gets deposited in the main artery and gets calcified. It keeps on growing affecting the blood flow to the brain. Though in a transient ischemic attack, the blockage is lesser, but it can lead to a stroke if not treated in time. Timeliness in bringing a TIA patient to a hospital is critical. ‘
Mrs. Rukmani Garg, the patient after the procedure said, ‘It was like any other day for me, I was performing my daily tasks in the kitchen when I suddenly felt a jerk in my left hand. This happened twice – thrice that day post which my hand got numb and I was not able to move it upwards. There was tremendous pain in my left shoulder. Later on there was slurring in my speech too, so my family immediately brought me to Apollo Hospital for consultation.’
“One must follow a healthy routine to reduce the risk of a TIA or a stroke. Consuming nutritious diet with low cholesterol and fat, especially saturated fat and trans-fat reduces the buildup of plaque in arteries. Having fruits and vegetables which are rich in potassium, folate and antioxidants protects from this disease. By exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding smoking and drinking can also reduce the risk of having this deadly disease,’ concluded Dr. Renjen.