By Amy Garner
Jackson-Madison County General Hospital
Jackson Radiology Associates’ Dr. John Crocker and the Interventional Radiology team at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital (JMCGH) performed Tennessee’s first (and the third in the world) arterial thrombectomy (removal of blood clot) using Penumbra’s Lightning Flash thrombectomy catheter on January 26, 2023.
According to Dr. Crocker, “This new device allows quick and efficient extraction of large volumes of blood clot material from arteries and veins of the body. In the past, open surgery requiring general anesthesia or prolonged administration of clot dissolving medication with 1 to 2 day stays in the ICU were common to achieve what can now be done in less than an hour- with only minimal sedation and a tiny incision that requires only a Band-Aid when completed.”
Lightning Flash is a specially designed catheter (tube) that vacuums the clot from blood vessels. Sensors are embedded in the Lightning Flash system and connected to a computer that is able to discern the location of the clot in the vessels. The computer automatically adjusts the vacuum based upon the location and amount of clot. This highly advanced capability enables quick extraction of a deadly clot that previously could not be retrieved or would require a lengthy hospital stay. Keith Garner, Executive Director of Radiology for JMCGH, stated, “We are extremely excited to be able to offer and perform these potentially life-saving procedures here within our Interventional Radiology Department at JMCGH, as well as, also be the first in the state of Tennessee to perform them. Being one of the first hospitals in the world to perform these vital procedures, reiterates that WTH-JMCGH truly does offer world class care right here in the heart of West Tennessee!”