Texas Stroke Institute
September 30, 2015

Blood clots deep in a stroke patient’s brain can now be removed more quickly, with less risk and a shorter recovery time, thanks to new technology being used by the neurology team at The Medical Center of Plano.

Medical City Plano is the first hospital in Texas to treat a patient suffering from a hemorrhagic (deep brain) stroke using the new Apollo System.

The Apollo system works like a blood clot vacuum, using suction, irrigation and gentle vibration within a small metal wand to remove soft tissue and fluid during minimally invasive neurosurgery. The system utilizes Neuronavigation, or a GPS-like small camera system for the brain, to locate the clot. The clot is removed through a small incision in the skull.

Doctors say the Apollo system improves outcomes for patients who previously had limited or no treatment options and a very low survival rate. A 48-year old man was the first to undergo the procedure at The Medical Center of Plano.

“The Apollo procedure has given us a minimally invasive approach to evacuate intracerebral hemorrhages. Previous open surgery would necessitate too much brain injury to be of benefit. This procedure allows us to remove the hematoma through one small hole and use a scope.” said Plano neurological surgeon Brent Morgan, M.D., “This will help decrease the swelling and other processes that create brain irritation and injury and expedite recovery and should improve recovery.”

Intracerebral hemorrhage, a type of hemorrhagic stroke, occurs when a weakened blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the surrounding brain, affecting more than 45,000 patients per year in the U.S. If the amount of blood increases rapidly, the sudden buildup in pressure can lead to disability or death. The most common cause of intracerebral hemorrhage is high blood pressure.