HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — UPMC in Central Pennsylvania announced that they will now be offering thrombectomy services as their newly opened interventional suite.

This interventional suite is located at UPMC Harrisburg, 111 South Front Street, in Harrisburg. Thrombectomy is a minimally invasive and highly effective procedure that removes clots from blood vessels. The procedure is used to treat ischemic strokes, which are the most common type of stroke. It helps to improve patient outcomes and experience.

Patients will be able to receive care faster, without having to transfer to further locations. Treatment time will also be reduced with the implementation of this procedure.

According to the release, UPMC says that in stroke care, “time is brain,” meaning that getting treatment quicky can reverse or mitigate damage, as well as save a patient’s life.

“Providing continued education and resources for stroke prevention is testament to UPMC’s commitment to improve the health of our communities in central Pennsylvania through better access and innovation,” said Lou Baverso, president, UPMC in Central Pa. “Bringing UPMC’s life-changing medicine to the communities we serve is our priority.”

Bart Thaci M.D., an endovascular neurosurgeon and assistant professor of neurological surgery at UPMC in Central Pennsylvania, will be supervising the newly opened lab. Dr. Thaci specializes in cerebrovascular neurosurgery for the treatment of brain and spinal cord vascular disorders.

“For a patient experiencing an ischemic stroke, a clot blocks blood flow to an area of the brain,” said Dr. Thaci. “A thrombectomy procedure can restore blood flow and can provide rapid, sometimes even visible, improvement before a patient leaves the surgical suite. A thrombectomy can reduce the risk of death or permanent disability in stroke patients if performed promptly.”

According to the release, stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States and a major cause of serious disability for adults. If blood flow is blocked, brain cells start to die within minutes because they can’t get oxygen. This causes a stroke. Information and resources regarding strokes can be found here.

It is very important that an immediate response takes place, as well as immediate medical care. This is critical during the first signs of a stroke. Education, such as “BE FAST,” can help the public to know what to look for in themselves and others. Preventative care, as well as knowledge of related conditions, can lessen the likelihood of a major stroke event.