Interventional Radiology Unit suffers seizure, prognosis unknown

By Kumudini Hettiarachchi

What ails the Interventional Radiology Unit of the National Hospital in Colombo, is the question being asked not only by doctors but also patients. While the Radiology Unit engages in its routine work, groundbreaking Neuro-interventional Radiology, into which it ventured about four years ago, has come to a halt in recent times, the Sunday Times understands.


What these Neuro-illnesses mean:

  • A Cerebral ArterioVenous Malformation is an abnormal connection between the arteries and veins in the brain.
  • An Aneurysm is an abnormal widening or ballooning of a portion of an artery due to weakness in the wall of the blood vessel.
  • The Vein of Galen, which is under the cerebral hemispheres, drains the anterior and central regions of the brain into the sinuses at the back of the head. Aneurysmal Malformation of this vein may result in heart failure or cause developmental delays, hydrocephalus and seizures.
  • Carotid-cavernous Sinus Fistula is an abnormal communication between the internal or external carotid arteries and the cavernous sinus.

Neuro-interventional Radiology affords patients the opportunity to undergo this minimally invasive treatment rather than open-brain surgery, it is learnt, while drastically reducing the risk factor as well.
Since 2007, Neuro-interventional Radiology, a technique new to Sri Lanka, saw at least five-six patients per month, who would otherwise have had to submit themselves to open-brain surgery, walking out of the NHSL a few days later.

Such neuro-interventions are utilised to treat cerebral ArterioVenous Malformations (AVMs), Aneurysms and Vein of Galen Malformations which are life-threatening. (See box)

Ambitious plans were also on the cards at the unit to treat victims who have suffered stroke due to blood clots, through this procedure, using stents to retrieve the clots. These Neuro-interventional Radiology procedures helped ease the congestion in the Neuro-Trauma Unit, it is learnt.

“This complex procedure also allowed Interventional Radiologists to venture into areas of the brain which would have suffered injury causing severe repercussions, if subjected to surgery,” a source said, alleging that, since July, this revolutionary treatment had ground to a halt, leaving humble patients in the lurch.

The equipment needed for this less-invasive procedure is available but nothing is happening now, another source said, pointing out that the hospital stays of patients undergoing brain surgery were longer – they have to be kept in the Intensive-Care Unit for several days, moved to the High-Dependency Unit, and only finally to the ward, before being discharged from hospital.

With Neuro-interventional Radiology, patients can leave the hospital quicker, the source added.
The Sunday Times learns that with one of the Interventional Radiologists who was doing these procedures going abroad on leave, no such procedures have been carried out since July. Only “other” procedures such as for carotid-cavernous fistula, which is not only outside the brain but also not life-threatening, are being done at the unit. How many of even those were being carried out was questionable, a source said, asking what were the success rates.

When the Sunday Times contacted a doctor at the Interventional Radiology Unit, he assured that neuro-interventions were still being carried out, but said he didn’t have the figures offhand.
He requested that the Sunday Times call him later, but many attempts to contact him for about two weeks thereafter were futile, as he did not pick up his phone.

Top to the page  |  E-mail  |  views[1]
SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Other News Articles
India in visa row with Lanka
Rajapaksa leaves on Tuesday for Commonwealth summit
Printing errors: Census put off
US revives GSP but another hurdle remains
CEB wants to increase rates
Alleged threat to dissident member: Tilvin summoned to police
Lanka will work with new Libya
Public seminar on Govt.’s new Property laws
Ancient A’pura temple restored and open to worshippers
"The Cedar tree has been felled but the fragrance lingers"
The Olympic truce resolution: Sport, the 'quiet diplomat' of peace
Shocking reports of alleged rapes within 24 hours
Snares are latest weapon in relentless man-beast conflict
Sources tightlipped on SEC chief Malik Cader’s status
Now Trinco-Batti road journey sans ferries
Beauty may be skin deep, but beauty treatments can be harmful, even kill
Excerpts from the Speeches made during the debate on the Motion on the Breakdown of Law & Order
Excerpts from the speeches made during a debate on an adjournment motion on issues affecting the North and East
A family’s heartburn after dengue robs them of teenage daughter
Racket of ‘seizing’ Defender jeeps at gunpoint busted Gang operated security firm as front
Fresh criteria for new Grama Sevaka Divisions: Delimitation Committee
Midwives, nurses in battle for labour rooms in state hospitals
Court frees visa overstayer seeking US asylum
Jail for five LTTE fundraisers in Netherlands
The case based on evidence of The Leader Editor was not reliable: Defence
News in brief
Lunch cooked, packed under unhygienic conditions 9-hours before mealtime
Interventional Radiology Unit suffers seizure, prognosis unknown
  Mulleriyawa incident: Conflicting evidence given by witnesses
I’m not against beautification of Colombo, but it must be for all not some: Muzammil
How the Western Province probation service functions
Everyone’s baby but nobody’s child
Central PC calls for urgent improvments at Kandy Teaching Hospital
Fined for making threats over phone
Educate road users: Magistrate


Reproduction of articles permitted when used without any alterations to contents and a link to the source page.
© Copyright 1996 - 2011 | Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka. All Rights Reserved | Site best viewed in IE ver 8.0 @ 1024 x 768 resolution