Doctors told Todd Dunlap, 62, that it was the largest blood clot they had ever seen. Then they gave him a choice: undergo open-heart surgery, or have the clot vacuumed out, via a new, minimally invasive procedure facilitated by a device called an "AngioVac."
Via UCLA Health:
Here's how it worked: A team of UCLA interventional radiologists and cardiovascular surgeons slid a tiny camera down Dunlap's esophagus to visually monitor his heart. Next, they guided a coiled hose through his neck artery and plugged one end into his heart, against the clot. They threaded the other end through a vein at the groin and hooked the hose up to a powerful heart-bypass device in the operating room to create suction.
"Once in place, the AngioVac quickly sucked the deadly clot out of Mr. Dunlap's heart and filtered out the solid tissue," said Moriarty, a UCLA interventional radiologist with expertise in clot removal and cardiovascular imaging. "The system then restored the cleansed blood through a blood vessel near the groin, eliminating the need for a blood transfusion."
I can't help but wonder if Dunlap was put under for this procedure. I bet he was. Still, I'm really curious to know what this feels like, or what it LOOKS like, in person. Really I just want to know if it's as disgustingly satisfying as when you blow your nose after you've had a really bad bloody nose, and you pull out one of those long, coagulated brain-slugs that makes you shudder in revulsion as it glurks its way through your nasal cavity.