UCLA doctors successfully ‘vacuum’ 2-foot blood clot out of patient’s heart
First in state to perform minimally invasive alternative to open-heart surgery
Todd Dunlap, 62, arrived at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center’s emergency room on Aug. 8 suffering from shortness of breath, fatigue and extreme cold. When a CT scan revealed a 24-inch clot stretching from his legs into his heart, doctors feared the mass could break loose and lodge in his lungs, blocking oxygen and killing him instantly.
Dr. John Moriarty gave his patient a choice. Dunlap could have open-heart surgery or undergo a new minimally invasive procedure using a device called AngioVac to vacuum the massive clot out of his heart. The catch? The procedure had never been successfully performed in California.